Today someone asked again. “What are you afraid of most?”
Perhaps I should put the answer on this blog’s “Questions and Responses” tab, as it frequently comes up. But I always pause– not because I’m not feeling anything, but because I am not sure “fear” is the word to describe it.
Yesterday a young woman said to me, “Don’t be afraid.” She is from China, and was the only believer in Jesus in her family. After a long season of prayer, some quietly courageous acts on her part, and God’s work in their hearts, her mother and sister chose to follow… and eventually her father as well. My friend knew I am heading overseas in a few weeks, and after telling the story of her family, she told me to be courageous. To go and to not hold back.
I think I’m “grieving” more than fearful. I have wonderful friends and family, people close to my heart, with whom I enjoy walking through life here. What I fear is that I’ll say the goodbyes, go to the Middle East, but it won’t make an impact on people there. Would I be content going even if I don’t see change/transformation right away, or even for awhile?
I will take my friend from China’s advice. I will not hold back, I will go, and I will leave results in the hands of the one who made me and my friends-to-be in the Middle East. He is the one who transforms, and He is the one who calms fears. Thankfully, He is also present in the sorrow. But that’s a second story.