“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“We are asking 5 families to join a pilot program that just opened up to adopt from Ghana. You are one of the families we would like to consider this…”
We had already been to Ethiopian restaurants, watched Ethiopian documentaries; we loved Ethiopia! We were going to wait 4 years to be matched with an Ethiopian orphan. So…
Where is Ghana again?!??
I Googled the map of Africa. There it was…somewhere between Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.
East Africa. Ebola Africa. Violent Africa?
I am going to die if I go there. I am going to get lost, or kidnapped, or murdered….AND DIE!
Please do not be offended by my ignorance. I am trying to be honest. Honestly–sometimes honesty isn’t pretty. The fear was crippling. My answer was “NO.” That was that. For full disclosure, I sent my husband the email. He wasn’t ‘feeling’ Ghana either…at first.
Why are you so afraid, Jenna?
I knew God was asking me this. It was good question; God doesn’t ask meaningless ones. I had to dig deep and pray. “Is this a check in the spirit from the Lord? Or is the enemy trying to get in the way of God’s plan?”
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’”2 Timothy 1:7
The truth was: I knew nothing about Ghana…ZERO. Heck, I had to Google map it! My fears were totally based on, well…nothing. I didn’t know if it was violent. Turns out it has no cases of Ebola. It currently has legit democratic elections.
God does not give us fear. God gives us faith!
If God is asking us to enter into something that seems dangerous from an earthly perspective, He will give us a ‘sound mind’ about it: warning, discernment, caution. He will not cause us to panic and throw our hands about in fury. He will not scare us into submission. He calls us into submission because he has plans to prosper us.
BUT we have a choice; Satan knows this.
The enemy is SO very present at these pivotal moments in our faith. He brings on the fear factor.
We end up running from our fears, instead of running towards God’s will.
We are attacked big time when God is calling us to do something awesome for His name’s sake. We must step back and recognize something bigger than us is at play. There is a spiritual battle going on all around us and we must engage! This is no time to be lazy. We must commit to prayer; we must be in God’s word, we must cling to other believers.
All the while, lean in to God…then lean in some more. Lean in so close that you can hear His voice above the clashing of lies and the howling fears.
Do this and you will hear Him. The crippling panic and unanswerable questions fall away. Then it is just you, standing in the shadow of the cross: loved, forgiven, bravely poured out. If we believe He did this for us, we must believe that we can trust Him with all things: sickness…parenting…jobs…even unknown parts of Africa.
Only God can replace our fear with faith…the kind of faith that confirms God loves us to death. The faith that gives confidence to go where we may die, because we know deep down…to die is to gain.
My husband and I wrestled in prayer together until 1 a.m. over the decision to switch our adoption plans to Ghana. I felt peace sweep over my body, like a tingly heat. I heard the country’s name over and over in my head: Ghana, Ghana, Ghana.
No fear. No questions. Only faith remained. It was warm and peaceful. So peaceful I could hear His voice.
Please take away my fear and give me faith.
by Jenna Masters