Anyone who knows my husband and me very well, knows that in recent months we have ramped up our travels out of the country doing Missions work. Today, in light of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I will answer the question that people have begun to ask me on a regular basis, “Aren’t you afraid to travel so far?” The answer to that question is, “Yes, sometimes I am.”
FEAR ISN’T ALWAYS BAD
That being said, fear isn’t always a bad thing. It actually causes you to live your life on purpose. Fear is only bad when it paralyzes you from living. Healthy fear should cause you to keep your head up and your senses alert to make wise choices. It causes you to take inventory of your life, and make sure it is filled with worthwhile endeavors. Living fully for God, and working for His Kingdom, are definitely worth a calculated risk.
King David declared in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”
DEATH IS UNAVOIDABLE
I have a newsflash for you: Everyone dies. We had just lost a close family member when I turned to my oldest son, looked him square in the eyes, and spoke these words. They washed over him the same way they just washed over you -thick, cold and sticky. I don’t regret saying them. I wanted him to know he only has one life, and it needs to be spent wisely.
THE TROUBLE WITH PLAYING IT SAFE
Here’s another newsflash for you: Living in certain safety doesn’t keep you from dying; It only keeps you from living. I choose to think of my life as currency. It’s going to be spent on something. That something might as well be eternal.
NOT A LICENSE FOR FOOLISH LIVING
Healthy fear should cause you to move cautiously, not foolishly, forward. People that are running from God live foolishly. Taking crazy chances with your life is not using wisdom. Living strung out on whatever new and exciting high is just around the corner doesn’t bring glory to God. Get yourself under control and live with eternity in mind!
FEAR VERSUS TERROR
On September 11th, 2001, weak and foolish people attacked our country. They spent their lives in one swift payment to induce a state of terror upon their perceived enemies.
I’ll admit that in the wake of those events, I was panicked. Then I was numb. Then I was angry. After a while, I realized I wasn’t really living anymore. I was paralyzed by my fear…just like the terrorists wanted all along. It’s what they spent themselves for. One day I decided to send all that terror back for a refund. I refuse to give them what they paid for.
HONOR WHERE HONOR IS DUE
Who do you want to honor with your life? Terrorists? When you allow yourself to live in terror, that’s who gets the honor. Do you want to honor the victims? Our military? Our first responders? God? That won’t be done by hunkering down in a quivering puddle and refusing to live your life.
Are there more bad guys? Affirmative. Could something really bad happen again? Absolutely. Do bad things happen to good people? Unfortunately so.
When I’m tempted to allow my fear to paralyze me, I remind myself of the text that my friend in the Middle East sent me the night before I flew.
“Pat, I want to thank you for conquering your fear and getting on that plane…”
Because we got on that plane in the face of our fear, thirty-three people received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost for the first time. Most, if not all, of those thirty-three people have now been baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of their sins. Thirty-three faces that I will see in Heaven when my life is spent.
Lest you think I am promoting self, and are tempted to say, “God could have done that without you,”…Yes, but He chooses to use people.
So, today, in light of the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11, I will not cower and give place to terror. Instead, I choose to live fully and on purpose for the glory of God and the furtherance of His Kingdom.
I will leave you with one of my very favorite quotes:
“Safety is not in the absence of danger, but in the presence of the Lord.” -Unknown
Warm Regards, -Pat
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