Bits of Sweetness: Do Not Fear

Do Not Fear

Right now, our youth group is on their way to Mexico for their summer missions trip. I am so excited for them! In fact, if I wasn't expecting right now, I would probably be with them! They are going to get to work at an orphanage helping the kids and working on projects. I'm praying that God will do some big things in their lives these next few weeks as well as the lives of the people there!

There's one more thing though. And it is something some have expressed quite an opinion on (some negative, some positive). We all know how great of a place Mexico is to go these days. Safety is a big concern. Cruises are having to limit where they dock because of problems with the locals. I don't think Mexico would honestly be on my list of vacation spots at the moment. (Um, Hawaii anyone?!) I heard a conversation yesterday that really got me thinking about the whole safety issue and the kids going to Mexico. Some think it would have been so much better if they had simply chosen somewhere else to go. I mean, Canada is not that far away! What about Canada?! Or going somewhere else in the US to help where it is much safer. Totally makes sense, doesn't it?! I mean.. why would you choose to go to Mexico right now? 

I started thinking about this all. Logically, it makes no sense. But here is what I do know. No matter where you go, there is always going to be the potential for danger. Just because there happen to be a much-higher reported rate of crimes or other bad things going on somewhere does not make it any less safe than somewhere else. If you think about it, those things could happen anywhere. They could happen on your street, or anywhere in America (or the world.) There is no guarantee for safety. Bad things unfortunately happen everywhere. So really, choosing to go somewhere deemed "more" safe may sound like a great way to avoid the bad things, but in all reality, there isn't a way at all to be 100% safe. So, in that sense, Mexico, Canada, or somewhere else in the US- it doesn't matter where the kids are taking a missions trip to! Something "bad" could happen anywhere they go.

I began to think about something else too; something that is a bigger thing. Where does our need to control safety come from? I mean, don't get me wrong. I am not at all advising one to just go vacation in a war zone!  Or to just go and throw yourself in front a gunman and plead for God to save you. God calls us to be wise. There is definitely a difference in being foolish and having wisdom. Really though. What is it about our need to control our environment and not have anything unsafe in it? I don't mean the common sense things like watching your kids to make sure they aren't going to be kidnapped. I mean the ways in which we fear for our safety and try to control how safe we are going to be. In this case, choosing whether to send youth group kids to a place that may not be the "safest" in the world right now.  Why do we feel the need to worry so often
 and not just trust that things will be ok?

I came across this picture and thought I would share it. 
365 times. Wow. I never realized it was so many.
I would venture to guess that God wants us to keep that in mind!

This photo reminded me of our own sweet son and precious baby boy on the way.

I think of my tendency as a Mama to worry about their future.
To worry that they will be safe.
One of my worst fears is going through something like a kidnapping
or something else really awful happening to our kids.
I want to know they are going to be ok!
{Do you ever feel like this?}
Thinking about all this though, I realized something. Is it actually wanting things to be safe
or is all the worrying we do really because deep down we don't trust God?
Ouch.
But I knew I was onto something. Is my need to control my environment
and never go through something unpleasant, or the need I feel to 
feel worried about something (as if worrying is productive!)
really deep down me telling God, "I'm sorry God. I know you 
created the universe and all, and I know I matter so much to you.
I mean geez you even sent your Son to die for me.
I know you know exactly how many hairs I have on my head
and that's incredible and all, but I just.. can't.. do it. 
I can't trust you. Because I don't know what's going to happen.
And it is so much easier to take things in my own hands
and choose to not trust.To choose to worry instead."

Then I got to thinking.
What happens when I do choose to trust and just give
all that worry to God? To not worry about the outcome
even if it makes no sense to not worry?
When I give all my fears and worries to God,
I find that in its place is
peace
a feeling of relief
joy
the ability to just enjoy life
And then I wonder, why do I choose
to reject all of these?!
Wouldn't I rather have the joy, peace,
and relief?!   Yeah. I would. I really would.

In regards to the Mexico team, I was thinking too- there is a big difference in going somewhere on vacation for personal pleasure (not wrong at all by the way!) and going somewhere to serve God,
doing things to impact others' lives and make a difference. The latter is going to be a huge opportunity to see what God is going to do. I think often we miss out on the incredible blessings God has for us because we don't give him the chance to show us what he can do!  We don't give up the control and give him the chance to say, "Watch this! I am going to completely blow you away with how I am going to give you protection, strength, and work miracles here!
Just give me the chance!"

I found this. It is really good.

And, two final ones. Food for thought.

Am I worried about the kids going to Mexico? Actually, in all honesty, no. I'm not. 
Until I'd heard that conversation it hadn't really crossed my mind.
Not because I'm naive and have no idea what it's like in Mexico.
But because I made the choice to just trust God and see what would happen.
I can't wait to see what he can do.
He's already worked through a shredded trailer tire on the way to Mexico.
Nothing is impossible.
We just have to decide to trust in that!

The next time you find yourself tempted to worry (or already doing so)
choose to say, "I'm going to just give this to God
 and accept the peace he has for me."

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