So, life as a missionary abroad is not always smooth.

Rarely smooth, actually.

Between language barriers, culture differences, day-to-day miscommunication, and several other factors, things often look pretty messy.

Take the other night for example.

I went to a worship gathering at a friend’s house.

It was a mix of both Japanese and foreigners.

Some spoke only English, some only Japanese, and some could speak both.

Needless to say, there were a few hiccups throughout the night.

My buddy had been super busy that entire day and forgot to print off translated lyrics for the songs we were singing.

The message my buddy had planned to give got accidentally erased earlier that day and he had to rewrite the entire thing, leaving his translator no time to prepare for his translation for the night.

The two guys playing guitar (I may have been included in that group…) had not prepared together nearly enough and the flow of the songs were sometimes abrupt and haphazard.

And yet, among all of the little hiccups and mistakes and awkward moments, I could feel the joy of the Lord.

Throughout the entire night, only one thought was flowing through my mind:

God loves this.

And I really believe it was true.

God loved what we did that night.

It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t smooth. It wasn’t completely put together.

But we came together as sons and daughters in Christ with the intentionality of worshipping our Heavenly Father.

And He loved it.

I think we often quantify our experiences with the Lord based on earthly principles and expectations when the truth of the matter is God doesn’t actually care about those things.

He cares about our hearts.

I think God loves our awkward encounters and failed attempts at following structure.

I don’t think He has a list that discerns the “Correct Steps and Practices to Create a Proper Night of Worship.”

I think He is happy just that we come for Him.

That we keep coming to glorify Him despite the awkward hiccups and messy moments.

I think we need to be reminded constantly that God is not disappointed in us when things don’t go smooth.

That He just loves being with us no matter what.

Where is it in your life that you need to recognize God’s mercy, grace, and just pure desire to be with you?

God is not disappointed in you.

He loves you and loves to be with you.