Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fearing the Unknown

This is a topic that I have been thinking about for a really long time.  I will give you my reasoning, but first let me just say that the word itself just means uncertain and a secret.  Think about it.  That is what our lives are, they are a mystery.  We have no idea how they are going to turn out, and what is going to happen.  As humans we have the tendency to always want to be in control (you might not show it a lot but it definitely is there), and this fact really makes us feel uneasy.  That is where the fear of the unknown comes from.
Recently, I went on a mission’s trip to Haiti.  Let me just tell you that that was the most amazing experience.   I learned so much, and I mostly learned how to trust God in everything.  You can learn how to trust God in many different ways.  But when you experience something like Haiti, and see how the Haitians have to live every day of their lives, it is a real eye opener and you become more aware of things and you realize that God has you exactly where he wants you for a reason.  Whether it be in a third world country full of poverty, or in a money controlled country where you basically get whatever you want because your society says you deserve it (which you really don’t).  The Haitians may live a life full of poverty, but even though that may be true, they definitely do not act like it.  They are full of joy and love, even though they have no idea where their next meal will come from, or if they will be able to get enough money to support their families.  That is because they are happy and thankful to be alive, even if their lives aren’t the greatest, they love their lives and they live them well.
As for me, I am a worrier. I constantly worry about insignificant things.  Such as being late to school or any other event, getting bad grades, missing out on too much, and even leading worship for church (which is completely ridiculous).  I never had to worry about being in a dangerous situation though, and that is what the Haitians have to live with all of the time.  Let me explain myself.  Our last night in Haiti, we were having our group time like we normally did.  We were just about done going through the circle, telling everyone our stories of what had happened that day and how it stood out to us (We had visited a hospital for the dying and the destitute, which is another big eye opener).  And one of the girls was in the middle of her story when our leaders’ wife quieted everyone down and told us in a serious whisper that we needed to be absolutely silent and file over to one of the guest houses.
No one had any idea what was going on and a lot of us were freaked out.  We all packed into the very back room and turned off all of the lights.  The guy leaders of the group went out to investigate all that was happening.  While we were sitting in the darkness, one of the leaders popped in and explained that there were some sketchy guys outside that had gotten into the walls.  The guest houses that we were staying in were protected by walls with armed men.  So it was definitely weird that there were random guys wandering around the area that was supposed to be completely safe.  We had no idea what was going to happen, and whether or not the men were going to harm us.  We stayed hidden in the room for about an hour, trying to quietly console the people who were crying and thinking of ways to calm ourselves down.  Let’s just say that we got very little sleep that night.  In the morning, everything ended up being perfectly fine.  The men were from Canada, and were just trying to find a place to stay.  So we were not in any danger what-so-ever.
That morning we had to get everything packed and ready to go so that we could catch our flight out of Haiti.  Once we got all that situated, we still had a bit of time to do what we wanted.  So my friend Jess decided that it would be a good idea to show me a spot where I can take really good photos, do devotions, and just hang out  (Which was the worst timing ever considering it was our last day).  He led me to one of the guest houses, up four flights of stairs to a balcony –which I thought was what he wanted to show me, but I was wrong- he climbed on top of the ledge telling me to follow which I thought was just pure craziness,  but I followed anyway.  We climbed from the ledge to the highest part of the roof and we stood there in awe of everything around us.  My heart was racing, not only because I had actually climbed on top of the roof, but because I felt so free.  We could see everything up there; the mountains, the people going about their daily routines, and our group getting ready to leave the place that we loved so dearly.  We ended up sitting on top of the roof for thirty minutes talking about what happened the night before (and of course how awesome the view was). The picture at the top of this post is of that amazing view. 
As we were talking about the events from the other night, Jess commented on how people just watch way too many movies about situations such as that one.  So their imaginations would go crazy and they assumed that the outcome would be like from the movie Taken.  So I sat there and thought and I replied saying that they weren’t necessarily afraid of the men and of the fact that we had to hide away.  They were fearing the unknown, because they knew two things; that the men were sketchy, and that something was not right.  What they didn’t know was what the men wanted and if they were going to hurt us or not.  So they were only afraid because they didn’t know what was going to happen, and because they were not in control of the situation themselves.
But that situation ended up being a perfect lesson.  It showed us what the Haitians have to deal with every day of their lives, how they are in constant danger, and how even though we don’t know what lies ahead, God has a perfect plan for us and He knows exactly where we will be in the future.  And we definitely need to take comfort in that.  We have a perfect God who had planned everything out before we were even born, and who has us right in the palm of his hand.  We worry all the time about things that are not in our control, but we should be thankful that they aren’t because we would only make things worse because of our sinful nature.  We may think we know what is best for ourselves, but we don’t.  God on the other hand, does know what is best for us, so we need to trust him in everything; whether it is leading worship or in life or death situations.  God has us exactly where he wants us to be, and he knows what he is doing.  So really, let’s stop fearing the unknown.  We should look at the unknown as though it is a mystery.  Because it really is, and once we start trusting in God everything will fall into place and the mysteries in our life will become known to us (in time) and less frightening.
So here’s to God, who knows all…
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all
your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

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