Read this amazing post from the blog of Brian Alonzo, a current World Racer . His squad happened to work in San Pablo, Guatemala (the same community that we worked in last July on our mission trip), and they spent some time with our very own Pastor Antonio. Here's his story about what happens when we let go of our pride and listen to God:
We all leaned in with sincere faith and waited at the feet of this woman. Our eyes fixed on escaping our own thoughts, pleading with God to help her. What happened next was a first for me. What happened next, about half of my blog subscribers will write off as something unreal. I promise to never lead my readers, friends or family astray with my own agenda and will give my truest account. I will rewind in the story a few minutes...
Pastor Antonio led our team through the streets of San Pablo, Guatemala to visit homes of people who needed prayer. We walked through a wooden entryway into the back yard of a one-room house. We were greeted by a man and quickly escorted inside. I would love to be able to say I was intent on listening to God as we entered the house, but I was not. I was distracted by an incoming text message from another contact that needed an urgent reply. As we sat around the room a woman in her late fifties began talking to us. The only one able to understand was our translator Emma. I finished sending my text around the same time the woman stopped talking. That's when Emma began explaining to the group what this woman had been talking about.
It turns out she has been having issues with her right leg. For some time now she has been having severe shooting pains that have made it difficult to walk short distances. Over time the pain has increased in intensity. The group immediately gathered around her and began praying. Three minutes into prayer I lost contact with the present. Wide-awake with my eyes closed I began having a dream. Within seconds I was in another place. Surrounded by darkness I could see this lady sitting in her bed. She was talking with two individuals, who at first glance looked very American. They were warning her of a darkness coming after her. I turned my head and behind me was a dark figure with yellow eyes coming toward the bed. In a blink of an eye I was awake. Back on the floor kneeling at the foot of this woman, my teammates still engaged in prayer. It appeared as if time had not moved forward. Then the struggle began.
What did I just see? Did I just fall asleep? Did I really see this or did I just imagine it?
Then it happened. Within my own thoughts emerged a thought not my own.
"Ask her if she has been having dreams."
My first reaction to this foreign request was doubt. I made this whole thing up. This must be my own thought. Then I began feeling very uncomfortable at the thought of asking this woman is she had been having dreams.
The request began intensifying.
"ASK HER IF SHE HAS BEEN HAVING DREAMS."
My next reaction was based solely out of pride. What if I look stupid? If I'm just making this up and ask this woman about her dreams, how would that make me look? Then another thought emerged separate and foreign from my own, "So what if you look stupid. If that's all you have to lose then it's probably something you should lose anyway. Ask her if she's been having dreams." At this point I was a flood of mixed pride, doubt, fear, and confusion. The only clear thing I could grab hold of was the voice not my own. The steady request for something outside of myself. In a moment of self-absorption I was still hearing the voice of God. So I did what any other pride driven, doubt casting, fear feeling person would do when God speaks... I listened.
I quickly stopped the prayers of my team and look straight ahead to our translator.
"Can you ask her if she has been having dreams?"
Emma gave me a funny look and then began asking this woman my silly little question. The woman responded in Spanish for what seemed to be ten minutes. All of us were waiting to hear the translation. My pride, doubt, and fear had purchased front row tickets to my matinee of humiliation and the curtain was about to draw. The lady finished and then it started. Emma began translating and in moments I was in tears.
The answer to the question was, "Yes, I had a dream a few months ago, right before my leg started to hurt."
Emma then began describing the dream.
"In her dream she was visited by two Americans. They spoke with her at great length and warned her of someone who was coming to hurt her."
I was amazed!!! After she finished translating I noticed that the only difference between her dream and the vision I saw was the dark figure with yellow eyes. I told the group and Emma what I saw and immediately began piecing things together. This leg injury had more to do with a spiritual attack than just a physical ailment. At that instance we began praying again. This time all focused on praying against the darkness that was causing this pain. During this prayer a sudden peace began filling the room. I looked up and saw a smile on the woman's face. Everything was changing right before our eyes. We ended our prayers and stood in a room overtaken by joy. The pain in her leg was gone, but more important the smile on her face had returned.
I walked away from the house that afternoon humbled and confident all in the same moment. God took me to a place so completely out side of my comfort zone. I was so focused on my own outcome, I was unaware of God's little concern for my ego's well being and even less aware of his constant concern for this woman's life.