My Personal Halloween

Probably one of my least favorite things about being a missionary is wrestling with fear. Not that missionaries have a corner on fear – I imagine there’s no escaping this battle no matter who you are. Whenever you have a sense of God’s direction, there is always going to be an accompanying sense of fear. That is, if you intend to walk the line of God’s will, you had better be ready to face your fears. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown. Fear of people, their actions, and their reactions.

 

This is a scary time of year for me – my own personal Halloween. Almost all of our church is gone off to their hometowns to celebrate the Spring Festival. Which leaves me for a couple weeks… to my self. Get in some much-need language study, planning, and reading. But fears frequently pound at the door of my little office. What if the students don’t come back to church when they return? What if their families are tearing down their faith? What if we lose all our momentum? What if we have to start over again? What if we fail?

 

I feel pretty proud of myself sometimes that I’m not afraid of lots of things that missionaries in this country are. But my fear of falling short is just as wrong as their fear of being kicked out of the country. It is pretty amazing really how many times in Scripture God (or some representative of His) tells people to ‘fear not.’ God gets imperative about it – gives us a strong hint about how He feels about it. Why? Fear is the emotional expression of doubt. Fear strongly implies that you’ve got reason to worry. That you might be unprotected from something. Which your Protector just might take offense to. When I fear failure, my heart is betraying my lack of confidence in God’s power and plan. I have ceased to dwell on Him and centered instead on some looming unknown. There is no fear in all of life centered on God’s person.

 

What to do with it then? Look deep into His power. That which looms hauntingly before me today is merely a pawn’s pawn in His glorious plan – its path laid plain before Him an eternity before. I must give Him the place I have given my fear – front and center in my mind. I meditate on its power and its plan. I consider what it will do to me. I consider how insignificant I am in its path. Turns out my fear seizes God’s throne in hearts. May He teach us to trust Him more.

 

 

2 Comments on “My Personal Halloween”

  1. Bruce Snead January 22, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Awesome entry in your blog. I have a real problem with fear and I could certainly relate to what you were writing. My biggest fear is that I will become a stumblingblock in my efforts to live on the edge for God. Have I taken too much risk? What will happen to innocent bystanders who might get hurt because of my risk taking? What kind of reflection will my failure be on Christ? I have failed a good bit but it is one thing to fail and have people look at you as a failure. That does not bother me as much as having people think it was my God who failed. My fear is that my potentially poor decision making will open the door for the enemies of God to blaspheme. Am I really hearing from God to step out and attempt something great or am I just a foolish dreamer who will bring reproach to the One who I say I am serving? I do not have the answer. I have not reached a conclusion. I have no tried and true advice to offer anyone. The only thing I know to do is take another step tomorrow.

  2. Peggy February 18, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    May these weeks be weeks of renewal for you as you seek God’s protection. May they (the weeks) fly by in a blurr! I have been studying the woman at the well, which has proven to be a great boost to my fear factor. I too fear failure of God’s plan for me and wonder how He could use me a wretched sinner. But, like the woman at the well, I have been cleansed with His blood making me usable. She was usable after her conversion. She ran right out to tell everyone about the Messiah at the Well. If God can use her who still smelled of the foul stench of her sins, I am confident He can use me, even if I fail.

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