To any readers, I am switching over to http://sharajanelle.tumblr.com/ for my South Asia shenanigans. I might double post…here and there, but, I haven’t decided yet. Not many people read this one specifically, so, that probably won’t be necessary.
Here’s the first post:
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”- Isaiah 41:10.
I’m not a very brave person.
I’m not very daring or courageous.
I am rarely valiant or fearless.
What I lack in audacity, I pour forth abundance in timidity.
I often cower under the weight of adversity.
At times my voice is muted by fear.
My stomach might flip upside down as butterflies inhabit it.
I may stand in stunned silence, or run away while the going’s good.
Time and time again, I am the victim of paralyzing fear.
Yeah, I’m a wimp.
Over the course of the past year and a half, the Lord, in His infinite mercy and loving kindness, allowed me a tiny glimpse of His glory as I dove into His Word. Throughout the pages of Scripture, I saw His greatness, His splendor, His majesty, His “othernesss”, His wrath, His might, His justice, His compassion…
More vividly than ever before, the Lord removed the blinders from my eyes, and graciously showed me His zeal and passion for His glory, and His ever beating heart for the nations.
Long story short…He turned my world upside down.
The Word became a mirror reflecting my apathetic heart towards the nations and the lost.
I asked the Lord to break my heart over the lost.
Be careful what you pray for.
I could think of reasons to… “not go”.
But, they all had a similar foundation:
Fear of the unknown. Fear of leaving behind the known. Fear of failure. Fear of difficulty. Fear of discomfort. Fear of fear.
Selfish, self-centered, self absorbed…fear.
Fear that simply revealed my vast unbelief.
So, yeah, that was a stupid reason.
So, here I am. Soon to board a plane for South Asia. I have never been on a plane for more than five hours before in my life. I have absolutely zero clue as what to expect when I get there. I’m not even 100% sure what it is exactly that I will be doing when I get there. I have never met anyone I will be working with. I know how to say “hello” in the language, and “Yes, I would like to have tea.”…and that’s about it.
Seems a bit crazy for this scaredy-cat, eh?
Oh, but, “Has [He] not commanded [me]? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord [my] God will be with [me] wherever [I] go.” What a beautiful promise to stand on. Whether I’m here or there or wherever, God will not leave me. He will not forget about me or pat me on the back and say, “Alrighty, good luck, Shara! Have fun in South Asia!”…No. He will be right beside me the entire time. Better yet…He’ll be INside me the entire time. And, that’s good.
“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ” Is. 43:1-3
The same God who was with Abraham and promised to “make of [him] a great nation,” and to “bless [him] and make [his] name great, so that [he] [would] be a blessing”, the same God who was with Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery, the same God who was with Moses as he stood up to Pharaoh, the same God who was with Joshua as the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, the same God who gave the barren Hannah a son, the same God who was with David as he defeated Goliath, the same God being praised in the Psalms, the same God who was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, the same God who saved Daniel from the lions’ den, the same God who was with Esther as she risked her life for her people, the same God who spoke through the prophets, the same God who sent His Son Jesus to live the life I couldn’t live and die the death I should have died, and the same God who raised Him from the dead, and the same God who empowered the disciples to be bold and proclaim the Gospel, the same God who was with Stephen as he was martyred, the same God who blinded Saul and raised up Paul to be a forerunner of the Gospel to the Gentiles,
….the same God who lived inside of the early church and enabled them and empowered them to forsake all and spend their lives for the sake of the Gospel of Christ…that same God…lives in me.
I didn’t get leftovers. I didn’t get a little bit of the Holy Spirit. I got all of Him.
I pray by God’s grace, He will help me live in that, and fall on my face daily in total dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s work inside of me.
This is my story. A sinner saved by immeasurable grace who has no intention of ever looking back. By His might, I will [press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus]. I am as flawed and horrid as they come, but, how beautiful the cross that He would save a vile wretch like me.
Each day is both a journey and a war; a journey Home, and a war [against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places] that want to keep me from getting there. This blog is meant to provide snippets of both, and hopefully encourage you and spur you on in your faith, and if you have not yet tasted of the grace and redemption found solely in Christ Jesus, it is my prayer that today would be the day that you do.
“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
The King of the Universe is holding my hand. Yes, please.
7 days and counting.
So, there you have it. This isn’t the blog of someone particularly clever, witty, glamorous, smart, or pretty. I’m no Adoniram Judson, Jim Elliot, Hudson Taylor, or Jim Paton. I’d actually be content with being an inkling of what the great heroes of the faith were. But, this is me. Fearful and flawed. But, lavishly loved and empowered by the Lord to be bring Him glory in spite of myself.
This is the story of my South Asian life. This is the Diary of a Wimpy Chick.