I have mentioned on many occasions on this very blog that fear has been my constant companion for as long as I can remember.  It is the “thorn in my side” if you will.  It is the thing that steals my joy.  It steals my moments.  It is so often the weapon Satan most often uses to defeat me.

I wish I could express the extent to which I have had to battle this enemy.  

But something has changed over the last 10 years.  While fear is still an everyday part of my life and something that I continue have to battle, it isn’t crippling me like it once was.  Oh there have still been moments…and I am certain there will still be more…but it isn’t ruling my life anymore.

There is only one reason why…

God has continued to put me in situations and experiences that I have had to look right in the face my greatest fears.  I have had to decide if fear was going to win or if I was going to win.  I was forced to do things that were uncomfortable and at times even painful.  I have had to wrestle with ugly and mean and scary, over and over and over again. 

The hard truth of this is that I probably will have to again.  I hate that.  Sometimes just thinking about what God is going to make me do next makes me have anxiety diarrhea…like really. 

I don’t want hard.  I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to go through experiences that are painful. I don’t want to watch those I love suffer.  I don’t want to go to bed heavy and exhausted. I don’t want my heart to ache as often as it does. I don’t want to cry silent tears in the shower.  I don’t want those things and so often my response to God when I experience those things is to say, “Where are you God?  Where is your justice?  Why aren’t you fighting for me?  Why is this so hard? WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHTS?!”

So I know fear.  I know it well, and I know how it can ruin your life if you let it.

As I watch this refugee story unfold, I can’t help but feel like so many are operating out of fear.  We are afraid because as we watch the events unfold in Paris and Iraq and Syria and so many other places around the world, we think about how that could be us or our family or our kids.  

I was WRECKED by that picture of the little boy washed up on the shore in Greece.  I kept looking at that picture and thinking about how it could have been my sweet little boy.  I could literally imagine his lifeless body lying there too. 

“Oh please Jesus don’t let it be us! Please protect us!  Don’t let us ever taste that sorrow and grief!  Please oh Lord please don’t let it ever be us!” my heart cried.

But why oh why does my family have more right to safety, security, opportunity, food, freedom, love, etc. than these other families?  What did I do to deserve that?  What did I do that was so special or right or good that gave me the authority to decide that I get to have those things but not others?

Nothing. I did nothing.

Guys, I am scared too.  Every single time I get on an airplane, I think about how that could be the one that is used by a terrorist.  Just today I read that 5 Syrians were caught in Honduras trying to illegally enter the US.  I know that at any time I could be in that place or my family could be in that place when all hell breaks loose.  That scares me to no end. 

But I refuse to let it rule me.  I won’t let that fear rule my life and keep me from doing what I know I am called to do.

I read these words a couple of weeks ago and they have haunted me every since…

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are WRETCHED, PITIABLE, POOR, BLIND, and NAKED. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” –Revelations 3:15 – 18

I have read these verses before but this time it was different because I know that most days I am longing for simple…for comfort…for riches and prosperity even to a certain extend.  I don’t want to worry or fear, and somehow deep down, I think I feel like if I am comfortable enough, rich enough, skinny enough, happy enough, good enough even that all those worries and fears will disappear.  I won’t have need anymore.

But this verse clearly says that if I have riches and prosperity and need nothing, I will in fact be WRETCHED, PITIABLE, POOR, BLIND, and NAKED. 

That sounds horrible.  Nevertheless I know that is what is happening to so many Christians.  They have all they need so they no longer need the Lord.  But, He asks us to seek gold refined by fire…this means it will have a cost!  It will cost something.  It will mean sacrifice.

I don’t want prosperity if I no longer am able to open myself to the plight of those that are suffering.  I don’t want riches without love.  I don’t want comfort if it means I no longer have need.

We have got to stop hoarding it all for ourselves.  It’s not just about my rights and my needs and my family.  It’s about all of our families.  There is an enemy out there.  He is prowling around like a lion, looking to destroy and take away all we hold dear.  Lets not mistake who our enemy really is.

There is a chance that within all these refugees looking to come into the states that there are terrorists among them.  This is a real possibility.  But, I also guarantee that there are already terrorists living in the states and others like the ones caught today looking for illegal ways to get in.  I am all for screening these refugees and putting proper things in place to try and prevent that from happening.  But the answer isn’t turning them away all together. 

As believers, we do have a responsibility to fight on their behalf.  We are called to something higher. 

“By this we know LOVE, that he laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and see his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:16-18

It doesn’t really get any plainer than this. 

I am not asking you not to be afraid.  I am not even asking you to just blindly let anyone and everyone into your home without a thought for your safety or your family’s safety.  No . Of course, we must be wise.  This is why I am all in favor of screenings and applications and interviews and all of the other things that are already in place for refugees seeking asylum in other countries.

But we must not turn a blind eye on this situation.  We cannot say that these families do not matter or that it is not our responsibility to take action on their behalf.  My family does not matter more to God than theirs.  My family does not deserve more than their families do.  My children do not matter more than their children.  It just doesn’t work that way.

And one final exhortation for the church…

Please start praying and talking and planning for how you are going to help these families.  Just because they have been physically rescued from those trying to hunt and kill them does not mean that their plight has ended.  Most will not know English.  Most will not be able to find jobs.  Most will still be wondering where their next meal is going to come from.  Most will be feeling isolated and alone. 

If there was ever a time for the church to shine so bright, it is now.  Light shines the brightest in the darkness.  Now is the time to let your light shine.  Be the hands and feet.  Open your doors.  Open your homes.  Show these families what love looks like in action and not just in word and deed.

I have often asked God why I wasn’t born in a different era. I have often felt like the weight of this time in the world is too heavy and the burden too great.

But then I remember those famous words that Mordecai spoke to Queen Ester, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

May God use us all for such a time as this…a time that looks darker, bleaker, and scarier than ever before.

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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and over...so please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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