Everything tastes better dipped in chocolate. Even if you are not a chocolate fan (which is crazy!) I think you still have to agree that everything dipped in chocolate looks more appealing… Delicious!
If you are reading this blog looking for some good dessert recipes, I’m going to start by telling you that you might be a little disappointed. Although I am a big fan of baking and making delicious things, this blog is much less about yummy food and delicious desserts, and much more about what God has been teaching me through “dipping things in chocolate.”
I recently returned to my home in Belize from a two-month long outreach in Zambia, Africa. While there, I learned many things and God showed up in many ways to me. But actually the number one thing I took from outreach I would say is, the power of prayer.
Philippians 4:6-7 says:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
This is almost a perfect description of how our outreach went, and it was all thanks to prayer. Before leaving for Zambia, the other leader (Ally) and I took lots of time to pray about literally everything we could pray about. At first I didn’t fully recognize why we were praying for some of the things; I mean obviously I knew prayer was good, but I don’t think I fully recognized the power of our prayers. But Ally would always say, “Joshy, let’s just sit down and ‘chocolate dip’ this whole situation and outreach in prayer.” Every time, immediately after praying I would feel so much peace about whatever we had just prayed for and knew somehow it was all going to work out great.
Turns out that all of our prayers made a huge difference during our time in Zambia as God blessed us everywhere we went and everything went so smoothly. We walked in God’s peace everywhere we went, and the few “problems” we ran into, we prayed over and they all worked out great! Now for those of you who have led outreaches or missions trips before, leading a team of 12+ people is not always easy, and by the end the thing you want most is just some space to chill out, relax, and not have to deal with anything. But that is not how this trip went. By the end both of us still had so much peace and actually felt ready for anything. I don’t really know how to describe it, but basically what God taught me through Ally and this outreach is that “dipping” everything in prayer makes a HUGE difference.
So I am learning this day by day and it isn’t one of those things that just happens, it takes practice. But I am learning to approach every situation with prayer, whether it is starting my quiet times, dealing with finances, seeking wisdom in relationships, or even just praying safety over a car ride or thanking God for the little things. I am finding it makes a big difference in my life.
I love this quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says,
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
I find this quote to be so true. So often I have no idea how to approach a certain circumstance and I feel like I want to just ask God for answers, but I am constantly reminded that God wants to be a part of the process. I have to take a second to humble myself and recognize that I can’t do it on my own, and that even when I don’t have the word’s to pray, as long as my heart is in it, God will figure out the rest.
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” -Max Lucado
Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout life. It’s kind of like going from having training wheels to riding a bike with just two wheels. I am no expert and am just beginning to learn to balance and steer with the “big boy” tires on, but everyday I bring God into the little things I notice a difference, because walking in God’s peace is about the most amazing thing anyone could do.
I encourage you, if you often find yourself stressed out or worried and looking for answers, to bring God into the process. Practice bringing the wisest guy around into every situation, trust Him, hand over your worries and fears to Him, and let Him deal with them!