Two years ago, I had the opportunity to be part of a missions team traveling to Mexico to minister in several different churches. In preparation for the trip, our team met for worship, prayer and planning in the preceding months.
During one such time, our leader suggested asking God to show us individuals we might see on our trip to Mexico. This was a new idea to me, but it didn’t seem to be unusual to anyone. Assuming it was normal in a supernatural school, I asked God to show me someone as I worshipped.
I remember seeing what appeared to be a young man of South American appearance sitting on the ground, leaning against a palm tree. He wore a straw hat and there was a deep sense of hopelessness and despair about him. I felt he was feeling this way because someone dear to him had died–perhaps a woman in his life that he loved. God wanted to assure him that he was seen and known in his pain. God was grieving with him and this dark season of despair would not carry on indefinitely. God was lifting him out of it and restoring hope.
I wondered if I had imagined this or really heard God?
I flipped between being convinced this word had come straight from heaven for an individual to thinking it generally represented the idea our trip would bring hope to a despairing generation or people. I wrote the vision down and determined to look out for a young man dressed in white leaning against a tree when I got to Mexico.
Three months later, half way through our trip, there had been no sight of this young man. I was in a church of about 200 where our team was ministering. I looked out into the congregation, and my attention was drawn to a young man standing three rows back wearing a white shirt. My heart raced as I was reminded of my vision–this felt like it was him, but it didn’t match the vision exactly (no tree and no hat!). I decided to take a risk; through the mic I asked him to stand up. With an interpreter, I asked if he had recently lost someone dear to him . . . yes! My confidence rising, I asked whether it was a female . . . no! I quickly reasoned that this was too much of a coincidence to not be generally true, so after establishing that his younger brother had died two or three months previously, I proceeded to share what God had shown me and pray for him.
I learnt three things from this experience:
- It really is normal for God to give us this kind of pre-information. He loves to use His children to bring comfort to the body.
- I really do sometimes just see and know in part (1 Cor. 13:9-12) and that’s okay. We’re learning, and we don’t get it completely right all of the time.
- We need to take risks (as long as we don’t expose or hurt people).
By Haydon Murr