“Isn’t It Dangerous?”

October 15, 2012 | Blog | No Comments

Reflection on Psalm 43:5  “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my saviour and my God.

“Isn’t it dangerous?”

These were amongst the first words uttered to us by friends on hearing our intentions to go to Africa on a short term mission assignment. News reports of volatile situations in various African countries were foundational to their concern. Mary and I understood and appreciated their interest in our welfare. However, when God gives clear indication of His will, it is more dangerous not to go than to go.

Fear image Fatalism isn’t Christian. Unpreparedness is stupidity in any arena of life. We committed our way unto the Lord and prepared as best we could to walk it. This meant physical health and spiritual well being. The former meant being inoculated against, malaria, yellow fever, rabies, hepatitis, typhoid and T.B. (and there were others). The latter required prayer support teams, openness with the Lord and faithfulness in relationships.

Before we went we made sure that to the best of our ability our affairs where well taken care of. We said good byes to our children believing we would return, but, making sure that if we didn’t there would be no regrets over outstanding issues.

There were some incidents which could have had nasty after-shocks. In the slums we had faithful minders, yet we were followed by some undesirables pressing their luck. The potential for ill was very apparent, but didn’t materialise for us. We were advised to stay in our host’s house when a political rally was being held nearby. We would have like to have seen it but glad we didn’t. A confrontation took place between protestors and police. One man was killed. The most dangerous thing we faced were not snakes, or wild animals. It was cars! Lack of courtesy and ignorance of or disobedience to road rules makes for horn blowing, erratic, frustrated drivers.

Looking back from the vantage point of going and returning, I can see how fear of the unknown could have robbed us of some wonderful encounters with people. Whenever God calls a man or woman to undertake some venture, fear of the unknown rises up. This spiritual, emotional, intangible reality is a thief. It robs those it cowers of God’s purposes and power, of His blessing and ministry.

Faith on the other hand silences fear. How? Because Faith knows the One in whom it believes. This knowledge is nurtured through the Scriptures and obedience. Faith does not ignore fear. Faith answers fear’s questions where it can. Where it cannot, trust leaves the uncertainties in the care of the Lord who loves and calls them to walk that particular pathway. As 1 John 4:18 puts it, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.”

That perfect love is not out of our being, but from the heart of God. As we yield to Him we find that love affecting us in words best uttered by the Psalmist, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me: He delivered me from all my fears.” (34:4)

Lord, in the face of fear’s taunting, be our courage.
Confronted by sincere concerns that would stifle obedience, deliver us.
As troubles surround us to break our will, let your joy be our refuge.

My Final Thought
Fear is poison to the soul. Obedient faith is the antidote.

Ray HawkinsRay Hawkins, “The Neurotic Rooster”, 2006, private publication, used with permission.
More information http://rayhawkinsauthor.blogspot.com.au/p/home.html

Ray is a retired Church of Christ pastor with a love of writing, mission and kids. He keeps fit by chasing grandchildren and writing devotional meditations, and helps his son out with a sea horse tourist venture and breeding program in Tasmania. This reflection was written after 3 trips to Africa with his wife, Mary.  Watch out for more to come.

 

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