“Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land,
for they will be our prey.”
This past week was the first time in nearly two years I did not publish my weekly blog post. While I love to stay on top of my writing, my husband and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Ensenada, Mexico to build homes for families in need. While I could write a book on our time there and all of the ways God worked, I would love to share one key lesson God impressed on my heart through the trip.
To give a bit of backstory, a dear friend of our family’s has organized this trip for several years now. My husband went with the group last year while I stayed home with our boys. Blown away by the experience, my husband was beyond excited for the two of us to go together this year. Hearing his stories, I readily committed to going. Looking forward to the trip throughout the year, I was certain my excitement to go would only increase as the time to go drew closer; however, that is not exactly what happened. As our departure date came nearer, rather than feeling eagerness and joy, I began to feel fear and worry.
As I typed pages of notes for the Grandmas regarding our boys, discussed safety concerns shared by a friend who was also going on the trip, and watched as our youngest came down with a stomach-bug just before leaving, I began to think it would be better for me to stay home. That it would be easier on everyone, including myself to simply not go. As I discussed my concerns with my husband, we both agreed Satan was attacking me and doing his best to keep me from following through on an amazing opportunity God had placed before me. No doubt Satan is the master of attacking us where we are most vulnerable.
While still feeling anxious, we boarded our flight and headed south. What happened from the time we landed to the time we boarded our return flight is truly beyond words. From the relationships formed with team members and the missionaries who we partnered with, to spending time with and praying for the families who received homes, there is just no way to articulate all the ways God worked in our midst. How do you explain what it is like to share smiles and tears with a single mom who at age 20 has experienced more heartache and abuse than I can begin to fathom? I would not trade the memories I now have of her and the ability to pray for her by name for anything. There is truly nothing like being apart of what you know God is doing.
As I reflected on the trip and all God did, I realized how much I would have missed out on if I had given into my fear and worry and not gotten on the plane.
Considering this idea, I was reminded of the 12 spies Moses sent to recon the promised land. In Numbers chapter 13 we pick up the story. After a year at Mount Sinai, the Jewish people packed up their belongings and reached the long awaited promised land. Selecting 12 men to scout the land and report back their findings, after 40 days they delivered their verdict. While Joshua and Caleb, 2 of the spies, remained firm in their belief God would deliver the land into the Israelites’ hands, the other 10 spies essentially reported entering the land would be a suicide mission given the size of the inhabitants. Allowing fear, rather than faith to dictate their actions, they lost out. Hurt by their lack of faith, God decreed the Israelites would wander in the wilderness for 40 years and that of all the men of Israel, only Joshua and Caleb would one day enter the promised land. Just as God said, history played out.
Like the spies, the same is true for us. When we allow fear rather than faith to dictate our actions, we lose out. As such, when fear and faith collide, we must choose faith.
I don’t know what has you feeling fear and worry today, but whatever it is, let me encourage you to trust God and move forward. Like my time in Mexico, God has great things in store for you, but you will not experience them if you do not follow Him in faith. As Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Sometimes…fear does not subside and…one must choose to do it afraid.”
While I often struggle to get this right, let’s remember the example of Joshua and Caleb and choose to boldly walk the path God has placed before us in faith. Let’s not hesitate, let’s just do it, even if we are afraid.