Thursday, February 20, 2014

What does fear look like?

This week has been anything but ordinary.  Protests have been going on for the past week.  Seemingly with no end.  What has been considered peaceful has caused injuries and even deaths.  What should be safe and comforting, no longer is.

What does safety look like?  And for that matter, what does fear look like?  You see, yesterday our safety was questioned.  And fear was brought into play.  Well, more fear than existed before.  There was always a small part of me that wondered what life would look like returning after being deported.  Would something happen?  We had 4 months, surely it would be fine.

But now there is something real and tangible to lead to fear.  Yesterday Bart was out meeting with one of the guys on the team.  Everything was closed.  Bart sent me a text telling me not to go out because he knew I was planning on going out to run errands.  He failed to mention the reason why.  Ultimately it was a good choice because I wouldn't have been able to accomplish anything.

What has lead to questions since yesterday, well Bart was told that where he was meeting Stephen wasn't safe and they needed to leave.  Shortly after they saw a bunch of people running.  Their first instinct was to run with them, thinking that they were running from danger.  They didn't.  They waited. And they found out that those people were actually running toward danger.  Then they ran into one of our students and her mother.  They kept asking why these two gringos were out.  The assumption was, you shouldn't be out here because it's not safe for you.

Ok.  So we'll stay in our apartment.  That's safe.  Then later, some teammates get texts saying not to leave the apartment because people are breaking into our apartment complex.  Really?  I mean, let's be honest, I don't know how true this is.  And I don't know how real the danger was yesterday.  I just know that when these things happen, fear creeps in.

And what do I do with fear?  I can become paralyzed.  Worry about what's going to happen.  Doubt the decision to be here.  Question God.  Be angry.  This is affecting me.  Not Bart so much, but I was already in a shaky place.

Am I trusting in the sovereignty of God?  No.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Living here isn't rainbows and unicorns.  I never anticipated it to be, but I also knew I couldn't live in fear.  What's changed.  A lot of time, a lot of cultural stress, a lot of turmoil going on in the country.  Sure, it might be legitimate, but what is God asking of me right now?  He's asking me to trust him.  The question is, is he trustworthy?  My logic tells me no.  My faith tells me yes.  The world around me tells me no.  My past experiences tell me yes.  My doubt tells me no.  My eternal perspective tells me yes.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.

So what do I do with all of this?  I pray.  We pray.  We carry on with our team Bible study.  We go to sleep trusting that the Lord is good.  We plan a prayer time today with students.  We go on with meeting with people.  We go on loving and trusting and yearning for a place that's not our home.  Heaven waits.  Would you pray with us?  Would you pray for our hearts, that we would trust in the ultimate sovereignty of God and his grace?  Would you pray for Venezuela and the civil unrest that is going on right now?  There are so many things that are out of our control and all we can do is pray.  Would you join us?

4 comments:

lepards said...

Read your blog this morning and wanted you to know I am spreading the word and prayers for you. Here are some verses that came to mind. Please know you are all being lifted up in prayer!!! Blessings
Psalms 121: I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
Isaiah 43:
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

lepards said...

Read your blog this morning and wanted you to know I am spreading the word and prayers for you. Here are some verses that came to mind. Please know you are all being lifted up in prayer!!! Blessings
Psalms 121: I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
Isaiah 43:
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

Kayla Dobbs said...

Hey Melissa, I am definitely praying for you guys and for this situation. I've also got others praying :) I know that it's hard to fully understand if you're not living in the midst of it, but I do want you to know that I'm thinking about you and praying for you. Love you guys.

judy said...

praying