I’m pretty confident when it comes to God, but when it comes to me, most of the time I am scared to death with insecurities. Yet I know the most good comes when people feel the fear and do whatever they have been called to do anyway. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is full of people who did great things for God in the face of fear, and that is an amazing encouragement.
In my heart it is abundantly clear I have been chosen by God to work in Haiti as a fulltime missionary. And that scares me to death. But I know God has plans for me and my calling greater than any fear I may have. I am the solution to a problem only I can fix. I have tried to step out of the winepress.
Coming to Haiti as an intern after attempting to raise fulltime support has yet again confirmed my calling to live in Haiti, to work with the orphan and vulnerable child, to live the life God has called me to have. But the world has been holding me back. What would happen if I never leave this winepress, not out of my own fear but due to not having the proper support to get myself here? My life would be meaningless. Every day I continue to exist in this winepress, I drift farther away from God and what He has called me to do. How much am I missing each day the world is holding me back? How much of God’s great love are others missing? I want to feel the fear of doing what God has called me to do, not the fear of finding out what happens if I can’t get myself in a place where it is possible.
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
I want to feel the fear of doing what God has called me to do, not the fear of finding out what happens if I don’t listen to His call. If I do not feel the fear and do what He has called me to do, my life is meaningless.
Mock Turtle published one of my poems as Adult second place winner for the Antioch Writer’s Workshop. Also published in the same issue is a photogram entitled ‘Accident’ that I made. Very excited about the double publication!
Daily, I twist a valve and let my serotonin flow out onto the floor, an emotional biohazard.
Daily, I brush my teeth but refuse to make eye contact with the foaming rictus in the mirror.
Daily, I take an obscenely cold shower and stand in the jets until I feel completely numb.
Daily, I’ll drive into town, my consumer therapy, and buy something outlandish.
Daily, I water the rosemary on my window sill and feel tired.
Every morning, I wake up to a new ceiling.
about the author
Andrew Ellis is annoying, infuriating, agitating, provoking, engaging, encouraging, and all the things that make a person interesting. His work has appeared in TeenInk, Common Threads, and Ink, Sweat, & Tears (forthcoming). His photography has appeared in Photographer’s Forum. He lives in Ohio, and survives primarily off of Mountain Dew and peanut butter M&Ms.
Our world is changing. In some cases it is changing for the better. In other cases, it isn’t. In Romans, the apostle Paul tells us not to model ourselves after this world. To me, that means two things: one, there are things about this world which are not healthy for us as Christians; and two, there is a model we need to be following which is, spiritually, more healthy for us. List one or two things in your life which may model what society is teaching which may not be healthy for you. Imagine Jesus sitting with you. What do you think Jesus would say to you about those practices or thoughts?
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Jesus was tempted. It is not wrong or sinful to be tempted. It depends upon how we react to those temptations. Jesus uses scripture each time to combat the tempter and his wicked ways. Imagine Jesus continuing to talk with you. Again, remember He loves you and, according to 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 hope and a future.'” What strength or words would He give you to combat the temptations you are facing? Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17 if you need help.
God’s grace is amazing, unfathomable, and, simply put, huge. As a people with flaws, how do we receive it? How do we learn to accept that all of our mistakes are wiped clean by God’s sacrifice? Take a minute to think about that God, the one that created our entire existence, the one that sent His Son to die for us. God’s Son… It is hard to comprehend that our sin, our lies, our junk was wiped clean because we were chosen by God.
Read John 17:20-26.
You have been chosen to be shown this amazing love. As long as you accept Christ in your heart, grace will overcome your sins. Please pray for those who are struggling with accepting grace from past sins. Pray for those you haven’t forgiven, that you are given an example through grace of how to forgive.