“So how much do you pay for this storefront each month?” I heard my husband ask the owner of the Pizza shop we have been renting on Sunday mornings.
The new Bible study has grown so quickly with new visitors every week…and the pizza shop just doesn’t have the room to fit us all any longer.
My husband has recently given a lot of thought to finding a new place for us to meet, and I knew with this question that he was seriously considering trying to find a storefront for the Bible study to meet in.
“Haven’t we already learned this lesson??” I thought to myself as they discussed the price.
“Didn’t we try the storefront? Do we really have to put ourselves out there again??”
The truth is, that day, the day the police came barging through the door to stop the services we were a part of, is still very clear in my mind.
Nothing terrible happened…really just an intimidating “warning” was all.
But the feeling I felt as they walked through the door…that “this is it…”
That feeling of instant fear…
Is something I can still feel in the pit of my stomach when I think back on the events of that day.
When my husband inquired about the price of a storefront, I realized that not only was the memory of the fear in that moment still there…but the fear itself was still there.
And that fear, if not taken care of (and by taken care of I mean squashed, stomped on, pounded, or trampled until non existent!!) is paralyzing.
That night, I thought about my husband’s inquiry…so much so that I couldn’t sleep.
I was upset. Angry even. That we would put ourselves “out there” again.
I mean, “An apartment is fine…Why do we need to put ourselves out there and “test the waters” again??”
I seriously had myself convinced that my husband might just be crazy.
And then I fell asleep. ha.
When I woke up the next morning (before my girls began their cries for mommy to get out of bed,) the Lord gave me a moment of clarity… He opened my eyes again.
And showed me my fear…for what it was.
It was not of Him.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”- 2 Timothy 1:7
It was not even merited!!
Had He not taken care of me? Had I suffered any “real” persecution??
I had experienced nothing more than a “scary” lecture while some of my sisters in Christ have watched as their husbands were taken off to prison.
Why was I making such a big deal of this in my mind?
I have had many people in the past…”warn” me of the dangers of living and working in this beautiful country.
And I told myself long ago…that I couldn’t be here, that I couldn’t work here, that I couldn’t live here, and that God could never really use me here if I thought like that.
If I let those “warnings,” those fears, take root in my heart.
Had I forgotten that?
For a moment…
I had quit trusting Him. I had quit believing He was in control. Or at least really believing it.
And if we are to really accomplish anything for Christ here in China…I know I have to trust Him. I have to truly believe.
And even if persecution comes…
If it is worse than before…
I still have to trust Him. I still have to know that He is in control. That it’s His work, and it’s for His glory.
I thank God for allowing me to serve alongside a man who is not afraid to be a bold witness for my Savior. He may be crazy at times ;), but the Lord has used him to teach me so much especially when it comes to serving Him with my whole heart.
Fear is something we all struggle with no matter where we are in the world.
I pray that we will trample those fears today and allow the Lord to use us to be a greater witness for Christ.
Let’s ask the Lord together to make us bold for Him!!