What does “Joy” look like? Something like the expression on the face of this woman, I suppose. Joy beyond description is something we would all love to know and experience throughout everyday. I truly believe if you could bottle “Joy” and sell it you would be the wealthiest person alive.

Last night I attended a worship service at North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C. So what took me out in the middle of the week to a church I am not a member of? They were bringing a mission report of a recent trip to South Africa. I walked into a worship center that was 80% full, on a Wednesday night. (I was impressed.) More significantly than the attendance there was an electricity in the air. One by one the participants stood and gave a two to three minute report of their most memorable moment on the trip. Every face literally glowed with the joy of the Lord. The pastor, Steve Cloud, brought the service to a conclusion with a challenge to the congregation to begin with him a 40 Day Journey to restore their Passion. One statement caught my attention. He said, “If you want to know the blessing these people experienced on this mission trip, you have to be On Mission.”

One of the realities of the reports that also grabbed my attention was the number of participants who indicated it was their first mission trip. It took me back to my first time. There is a Joy beyond description of making that first mission trip, totally surrendered and yielded to God. I remember the last night that I spent in Bamako Mali trying to fall asleep. Marvin, with whom I shared a room, was out washing his clothes. I remember lying on the bed weeping, singing, rejoicing at what God had done. It was a time of Joy beyond description.

The joy of the Lord is our strength, Nehemiah wrote. And true joy is found by dwelling in the Presence of the Lord. And whether it is across the street, on the other side of town, or around the world, there is nothing that enables you to experience of the presence of the Lord more than being On Mission. Will you make a fresh decision today to live your life on mission for God?

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