Getting to Know Our Missionaries Better...
We are wrong when we are bitter. We aren’t doing it right when complaining is easy to do. I’ve seen a pattern in my life. When I feel like whining and being mad about what happens to me, I have been listening to the voice of a lie: the voice of fear, telling me that following Christ means pain and suffering and things that I don’t want. The second we tune in to fear, we forget some very essential things: His way is GOOD. His way is TRUE. His way is FREE. Let me say that last one again: His way is FREE: “I will walk freely in an open space because I cherish Your precepts” – Psalm 119:45. I see the world and I see the problems of others and I see the turmoil in my own heart and I realize that we’re each, in our own ways, individually and collectively, running in circles started and maintained by fear. The start and the end to most seemingly unsolvable problems is fear. When you go to pray, take a look at the seemingly unsolvable problems in your life, and identify where the fear is in them. Is the fear coming from within you? Another? Many people? Society? Ask Jesus for the courage and the humility to guide you to stare at that thing that’s been weighing down on you. If it is unidentifiable, ask Him to help you identify it. He will. In His way and in His time.
When we listen and obey the voice of fear, we completely lose sight of what it means to live and follow the Lord. We should all be able to say with our whole hearts: “I delight to do Your will, O my God” – Psalm 40:8. To do the will of the Lord will indeed mean suffering, which, if it had no purpose, would be a very scary thing. But what we so easily forget is that our afflictions have infinite purpose because of the Cross. Let me repeat that: Our afflictions have been given never-ending purpose because of the Cross of Christ. No suffering, not even the slightest, need be in vain. Our Lord promises not only to take our every affliction upon Himself, but also to redeem it, to make it new! He promises to make it something beautiful, perfect, and better than what would have been had we never suffered at all. Sometimes we see that redemption right away, sometimes it takes years, and maybe sometimes, we will only see from the vantage point of Heaven. I must remind you and myself, then, to not be afraid of what it means to pick up your Cross. To say “I will pick up my Cross” is the same as to say “I choose life.”
Fear, by its very nature, will always remove hope and goodness from the equation of your life. But we must remember that fear is a lie. It will always blind. It will always paralyze. Now what’s the way out? Recognize fear. Call it by name. And do not listen to it. It comes straight from the enemy and it is aimed directly at your destruction. It’s all too easy to make an excuse to listen to fear. We tell ourselves something along the lines of, “It’s natural to be afraid,” or, “It’s too big for me to conquer,” or, “It’s an unavoidable fact of life.” Those excuses do not stand. Fear is very small and therefore must do all it can to make itself look big. It is avoidable, but will do all it can to make itself seem not so. When you hear the voice of fear, call it out and send it away in the name of Jesus. Call upon the Holy Spirit and He will come to your aid, every time. Jesus didn’t say “I have come that they might have life” because He thought it was a nice thing to say. He didn’t say it to give us false hope; He said it because it was TRUE. Every word that comes from the mouth of God is Truth “Since you, Lord God, are truly God and your words are truth and you have made this generous promise to your servant” – 2 Samuel 7:28. So, hear the words of the Lord in the worst of your sufferings, in the stickiest and most hopeless seeming situations:
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
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Star of the Sea's Missionary Interns
Young adults from around the country come together to live and serve the Lord at this beautiful Catholic parish in the Pacific Northwest.