As I begin my post for today, I want to make two important disclaimers. First, I am not asking for anyone to support or give money to any specific need. Secondly, I am not campaigning for any particular organization.
This past Sunday, September 3, was set aside as a day of prayer for Texas after Hurricane Harvey by Texan Governor Abbott. President Trump also issued a proclamation that this day was to be a national Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and our National Response and Recovery Efforts. In accordance with these requests, our church congregation took time during our worship service to focus upon this vital need. First, our pastor shared about the organization Convoy of Hope being a trustworthy organization to support for relief efforts. He told of how this organization currently has semis loaded with necessary items waiting to be dispatched into specific areas. However, he went on to say that these people have spiritual needs that cannot be met by these trucks. This focus led us into a time of prayer.
While I agreed with everything that was said and done Sunday morning, since then a spiritual image has been forming in my mind that goes beyond the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please follow along with me as we physically and spiritually unpack the meanings of three words in the phrase “Dispatching a Convoy of Hope.”
As I look on Google for a definition for “dispatching”, I find such phrases as “sending off to a destination for a purpose” and “dealing with a task quickly and efficiently.” Currently, the organization Convoy of Hope is sending out semi trucks loaded with supplies to help provide the immediate physical needs of people encountering the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Spiritually, dispatching can be a term used to describe praying. When we come before the Lord in prayer, we are sending off to the throne of heaven our requests. We have faith in God to efficiently fulfill the requests we present to Him. Although the answers may not be evident as quickly as we might like, we can trust that the answers will be received in God’s best timing. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
A convoy is described as a group of vehicles traveling together. This is an accurate description of the numerous trucks traveling together to deliver supplies to those in Texas as this moment. After their deliveries, the vehicles will return to their home base until there is another need requiring their assistance. Let’s take a look at our prayer picture. I can see multitudes of spiritual semis full of prayers moving towards the destination of heaven and another convoy of answers returning to the senders. These spiritual semis never return empty. I John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
The goal of Convoy for Hope is to “provide help and hope to those who are impoverished, hungry and hurting.” Their website informs us that they have been delivering hope since 1994. I love the imagery of truckloads of hope being delivered into people’s lives. Spiritual hope is described in Romans 8:24-25, “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Take a moment to imagine with me God filling His spiritual semis with a convoy of hope as answers to the prayers we dispatch to Him. What a beautiful picture of hope overflowing from semi trucks whether they be physical or spiritual vehicles.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize what a privilege it is for God to allow us to be part of His convoy that dispatches hope. Romans 12:12 summarizes this well by stating, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Sometimes we may partake in a convoy that delivers physical help and hope while we can always be part of the spiritual convoy of hope through our prayers. For now, let us not only continue to dispatch prayers for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but let us also pray that Hurricane Irma will weaken and go out to sea rather than striking the state of Florida and islands off its coast and/or other southeastern coastal states of the United States with another category 5 hurricane.