I have been anxious in anticipation since Friday of last week. I depart for Afghanistan in a few short days and in all honesty I wish I was leaving now. There is something about change that frightens us, it brings us to restless night and long days. The anticipation is usually far different from the actual event both for good and ill. We trump up our fears in the days before often binding us up in dread.
Now to placate any fears, no I’m not bound in dread, nor am I waking up in cold sweats. I am simply restless at night and wishing my time apart would have begun yesterday. I’ve chosen to be the last man out because others that walk this line with me are bound by the dread of the unknown and do find themselves walking down dark paths and deep valleys in anticipation of this grand journey into the heart of human conflict. So I linger, to calm fears, to still troubled hearts with a love and peace that is not my own. It is moments like these that Christ shines all the more radiant. Turn a light on in a room filled by day and there is the fleeting of a few shadows into the corners but shine a light in the darkest of nights and the emptiness of the void in consumed by the glory of a thousand suns. It’s the greatest paradox of all, the farther you are from the light the more it effects you. Jesus spoke of this dilemma frequently, seeking out the lost and the hurting, not the well and comfortable. It is why the church thrives in danger and suffocates in freedom.
People who live in darkness, fear, despair recognize the need for the light and run too it.
So I find myself on the edge of adventure (don’t laugh – all of life is an adventure) waiting for the glory of the Lord to fill me and use me to bring light in dark places. For now pray for peace for these men that for reasons all their own are setting aside their lives for 7 long months to do what few of us would ever dare.
Pray for their families, for the sacrifice they are thrust into for the rest of this year; children longing for the embrace of a father, wives aching for the kiss of a husband, parents fearing for the safety of a child.
Pray for wisdom, for peace, for joy, for the quiet embrace of the Father.
I know in the days and weeks to come there will be other desires other requests, but for now I ask only for prayer. Often we find ourselves thinking we can do nothing. We relegate prayer to an afterthought, a good luck charm, a side dish. Oh how we have fallen for the lie, we’ve bound ourselves in a lie the Cross destroyed.
The Cross removed the blot of sin on our lives and ushered us into the presence of the Holy of Holies. The veil was torn and by Christ’s death we can meet face to face with God almighty, first in repentance then in petition.
Prayer is the purpose of the Cross. To seek God’s face, oh what joy, to speak and know He hears.
So pray, and pray again.