Vacations with Purpose
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The sun peeked through the clouds as we wandered around on our first day in Rome. My oldest son and I joined my husband while he was attending a work event in the city. Our plans involved some sightseeing while my husband worked. We were so excited to see a new part of the world. One rich with history and meaning. That first day we all three walked together to take in a few sites and get our bearings. I will never forget walking through a park, past a prominent building and just stopping. I lingered there, enjoying the beautiful weather, all the sights, sounds, and smells of this foreign city.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling. Stop. Stop here. Pray now. I stopped. My husband and son were ready to move on. Go ahead, I’ll catch up. I couldn’t pull myself away. I began to worship and began to linger in the tangible presence of Holy Spirit. I prayed for what came to my heart. I prayed for the people and businesses that would take place in that building. I prayed in the Spirit, trusting the heart of the One who called me to pray and agree with Heaven’s purpose in this moment. I had no frame of reference for where we were standing, I just knew there was an assignment of intercession there.
"So I stood waiting for that moment where heaven meets Earth and the Lord’s presence is manifested. It lasted only a short time. The assignment was complete. I was released to move on."
But of course, I had to know where we were standing… “Hey, Google, what building is this?” This stop was not on our trip itinerary. It was just a building on the way to another destination. Google informed me: I was facing the back side of the Palace of Justice. The seat of the Supreme Court of Rome (Corte Suprema di Cassazione). I still remember the urgency of that moment. Even 5 years later. I have no doubt there will come a time when I understand the significance of those prayers. The only word that still stands out is, “Overturn.” A word that meant significantly more when I realized where I was standing… looking at the back doors no less.
I had no idea when we left for Rome that I would have the opportunity to partner with the Lord of Heaven’s Armies to do His work on foreign soil. It shifted the entire trip for me. It reminded me that He is at work in the hearts and minds of His people all around the world. And He calls us to partner with Him to “bless the nations”… to bring His love to the people of the world. Every person we meet at meals, in shops, at museums, standing in ticket lines, at bus stops… every person is a divine appointment. His plan, His purpose, His people.
"Whether we are at home or on the other side of the world. We just have to be willing to listen when that still small voice says, “I’m here.” Will you partner with me in this moment?
My husband, son and I had several other significant moments on that trip. Many places where we felt the Lord’s presence and His peace. We also sensed other places that were frenzied, chaotic, not at all peaceful. The contrast was profoundly tangible. In those moments, it was clear to me that we were instruments of His peace… ambassadors of His will and His plan. Just being on the tour, in the line, at the café, on the bus, we were standing in the gap to usher in His presence to those around us… and also to partner with Heaven to unlock new gateways into our own destiny and relationship with The Holy One, our Abba Father. What adventures await when we walk by faith and with the awareness that we are Ambassadors of Heaven. That every place we walk is our mission field… and sometimes that happens even when we’re on “vacation”.