Well, again, it has been a while since my last blog post. I apologize for the time in between posts. My wife and I have been working hard to get all of our things together before we go to South Sudan for a month.
As many of you may know, Sudan and South Sudan have been in a war for over 25 years. Technically they are not fighting now but bombings do still take place close to the border of these 2 countries. We will not be in this region. We will be south of it in a very remote area helping small children and adults in a village.
There has been an overarching theme that I have experienced since we made this trip public. Some were excited for us, some questioned it, and all worried. This includes myself. In fact, the only person that had no worry or anxiety was Gail because this is something that she has longed to do most of her life; serve God in Africa. But everyone else expressed a voice of concern for our safety.
My, as well as others’, fear came from the possibility of being swept up in a war area and not being able to withstand attacks or even to be captured. Every Sunday, I have had someone come up to me and ask if we have heard anything new that is happening over there before we go. I have been told to play the “what if” game and have a plan if something does come up. I have been told that my concerns may not be for myself, but at least I need to think about Gail’s safety. I have been told countless times to simply be careful. These words all came from Christians that I respect and know that they simply wish safety and ease upon us. But this worry weighs one down. And it did to me. But thankfully that has changed.
I try to “play” the guitar for the youth on Wednesday so that they have an opportunity to experience God through corporate worship at least once a week. One of the songs that I have recently been learning is Always by Kristian Stanfill. There is a line in the song that says, “My foes are many, they rise against me, but I will hold my ground. I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm, my help is on the way, my help is on the way.” When I began to really worship to this song, it became extremely relevant to my situation. It reminded me of Jesus’ sermon on the mount where he speaks of worrying. Matthew 6:27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Worrying does not prepare one to do anything. It hinders one to the point of doing nothing.
So I have declared not to worry about our trip. I have set aside worry. Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I choose not to worry. I choose to put on the full armor of God. I choose to not only seek his kingdom, but fight on its behalf. I choose to be a warrior, not a worrier.
I wear the armor of God not to wage war against man, but against that which stands against God.
2 Corinthians 10:1-6 “By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you-I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
Let us not live timidly as ones that worry. Worry takes us captive. It entraps us. It disables us. It binds us to the powers of this world. But let us be bold warriors. Warriors who take worry captive. Who bind the doubt. Who disables fear. And who frees souls. Let us use the divine power. Let us not sheathe the divine power, but put it to use and on display for the glory of God.
While we are away I ask for your prayers. Not the prayers of worriers, but prayers of warriors. For myself, I will live as a warrior. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 I pray that you will do the same.
Be Warriors, Not Worriers
In Christ’s Love,