Shalom! We desperately need peace in this world if we look around us. Recent global events have made us anxious. California’s deadliest-ever fire continues to rage on. Earthquakes still terrify from the people of Palu to Peru, and those living in the Pacific Rim of Fire. Floods inundate Kuwait to Kerala, India.
The troubles do not just end there. The United States is locked in an escalating trade war with China. The families of the victims of LionAir JT610 crash are still searching for answers. And some of us had to deal with dangers, defeat, and disbelief. We live in troubled times, consoled not by peace, but by the pain in the chaos.
In times of calamities, how should we respond? How can we overcome our fear and find our peace? As I grapple with these questions, the Lord led me to a conversation I had with a friend recently.
Flo has acrophobia (fear of heights). But her five-year-old son loves the outdoors and wanted to try a high-robe obstacle course that is suspended 30 feet above trees. Flo lamented, “For Avan is fun… for me is faint!” What’s worse, Flo had to buddy with Avan because he’s underage. Even though they had a 20-minute safety briefing and demonstration, and repeated assurances from seasoned instructors that the harness and equipment were secure, Flo still struggled.
Unfortunately, Flo froze and stalled on one of the obstacles. Everyone was held up because of her fear. Clinging on for her dear life onto one of the robes, she refused to move another step forward. “Let’s go! Trust the line! Trust the harness!” the instructors yelled below. Flo thought she was going to die. Despite her paralyzing fear and her tired arms, Flo eventually had to move forward… slowly.
Back on the ground after two hours, Flo reflected on her experience. Then it struck her how silly she was to trust in herself rather than the safety line and harness. She realized that her fear prevented her from finishing the obstacle course and more importantly, fully enjoying her time with her son. And here’s the key take-home for her, “In many ways, we trust more in ourselves than on God and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ.”
Flo taught me a precious lesson. The higher we go, the greater the risk, danger and fear; and the greater the need to trust in God and His “safety harness.” When we look down, all we see are the perils; that’s when we need to look up and trust God’s protection. When we face the mountains of life, look to the Maker of life. The Psalmist puts it well, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Ps 56:3).
As you labor on in your ministry, trust that God will sustain and encourage you. May His promises through His Word assure and comfort you.
Grace and peace