Real fear.

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The rain splattered hard against the window.

Just didn’t seem right for the desert.

I rolled the legs of my soaked jeans down and noticed the damp marks my feet were leaving on the tile floor. My friend laughed at me and clicked her tongue, the cultural sign of disapproval here. Kind of like a “girl, what were you thinking?”

It hadn’t rained since I arrived, and they’re just as unequipped for rain in this country as the South is for snow. A little rain, and full-scale rivers start flowing right down the middle of the street.

Hopeless. Hopeless for me … and for my Toms.

I’ve been visiting this country for a few weeks now, and what I’ve learned already is that there’s so much I don’t know. I’ve had to get comfy with diving out confidently on foot into fast-moving traffic and just trust that cars will stop. (They do.) I’ve learned what a forecast of “dust” is.

And I’ve learned what real fear looks like.

“Grace, are you afraid of thunder?”

She asked me that as I worked on drying out my shoes.

“Did you hear all the thunder last night?”

No, I didn’t. I told her as much.

“Really? It kept me awake all night. I’m so scared of thunder.”

Why?

“It reminds me of God.”

It reminds me of God, too, I thought, but I didn’t say it – mainly because I figured it reminded us of God for very different reasons.

“Why does it remind you of God?”

“Because it makes me think of how bad judgment day is going to be. And I am really scared of judgment day.”

In my friend’s beliefs, all her actions will be weighed out on judgment day. If she comes out with more good than bad, then she’s in the clear. If not …

“When I do bad things, I get afraid that I will die right then, before I have time to do more good things.”

As I looked in my friend’s eyes, all I saw reflected there was fear.

Hopeless.

Here she sat in front of me, concerned about buying the right dress to impress a guy she liked at a party … texting her friends … cruising Facebook …

And fearing eternity hard-core.

Oh, God. Please put the fear in me for the sake of your name among these people.

Every moment, every second, I feel ill equipped to be a bearer of hope to dark places. At all times of day, the darkness pounds against my window with the fervor of a desert rainstorm, threatening to wash away seeds planted, threatening to steal my joy or my confidence, threatening to distract me with stray thoughts or insecurities or concerns.

It’s loud sometimes. It shakes me.

And then I remember that the God who made the thunder loves me. He’s broken the scales holding my worthless rags. He’s clothed me as a daughter.

And He loves my friend.

What hope … for you, for me … for a world of people enslaved by darkness who don’t know the One who can calm the storm. For Him and for them, we trust His power behind the thunder, we remember He’s bigger than the darkness, we put our drenched shoes back on … and we press on.

In Him, we have nothing to fear.

19 Comments on “Real fear.

  1. I stumbled upon your blog a few years ago and have been encouraged and inspired by your journey that you have shared here.

  2. Salam ohkte :) Na’am! This is awesome! As I am on a continual basis around people from numerous nations, I am so privileged to have such favor from our Father. These women I pour my life in to (like those you encounter daily) see something different in me…a Peace…the very Spirit of Him who is wanting to bind up their broken hearts and release the chains that enslave them to fear their Creator. Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement as nations are coming to our doorstep in the West, seeking peace and freedom in a nation that is forgetting their first love. I’m sure you have felt that this is too much…it’s overwhelming when you are surrounded and just want to shout from the rooftops how they can know joy instead of fear and freedom instead of religion…hmmmm….Lifting you up and thanking Him for your obedience. thank for this Gracie Pooh- love you! :) Maasalama habibti

  3. “Oh, God. Please put the fear in me for the sake of your name among these people.”
    I need this prayer too.
    Too easy to live among them and not truly love them, not truly share life as often as we could. May we fear Him and may His words be on our tongues and His love in our hearts.

  4. His grace is so beautiful! Thank you for the reminder. May He continue to open up her eyes to see more of His true nature and character, and turn your life (and ours as we read with you!) as He continues to woo her.

  5. So excited to read a new post from you and can’t wait to see you soon!

  6. Love your writing style and your heart for both Christ and the lost. Great reminder to be grateful and always reaching out to and loving those who don’t YET know Christ.

  7. So thankful He’s put you there to share with her :) How great is His love, that He both redeems us and invites us into the work!

  8. Such a beautiful post! The sermon at my church this Sunday was from 1 John 4:16-18 and fits perfectly with this. Walking in the confidence of God’s love and letting go of the fear of punishment, the fear of rejection, the fear of not measuring up. “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

  9. Beautifully said. We can never earn salvation, and that is why it is so precious – a gift that we are unworthy of yet made worthy through Christ. Thank you.

  10. It seems fear is at the root of the unbelief and distrust of our Father. It has taken a long time for my heart to opened and honest before His presence. He has convinced my heart finally of His great love for me. Now, walking in His Spirit doesn’t seem something I have to “do”, but rather a freedom to be who He says I am.

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