by Ginny Dent Brant
And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12: 4-7 (NKJV)
As a trustee of the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention, I was privileged to spend several weeks with IMB workers at the Jibla Baptist Hospital in Yemen in July 1997.
When I arrived, I was like a fish out of water. Sweat rushed out of every pore in my body, when I was nearly caught smuggling Bibles across the border. After clearing customs, I noticed that all men and boys were walking around with jambeas (curved daggers) draped across their chests and machine guns proudly displayed on their backs. This was beyond the Wild Wild West. Welcome to Yemen!
Walking through the city with the field leader, I quietly stuffed my fears deep inside my gut and chattered as if nothing was different. The next night after arriving at the hospital, he updated me with alarming news. Rabid dogs were loose in the village, malaria was spreading, and terrorists threatened the hospital. Before I went to bed, he shared one last bit of news—the airlines had gone on strike. I was stranded. They had me at RABID DOGS! Sweet dreams!
Early the next morning when I heard machine gun fire outside my cave-like dwelling, I catapulted from bed and rushed into the young nurse’s room with whom I was staying. I had reached my FEAR FACTOR! “Nothing appears safe here to me. What’s your definition of safe?” I asked.
Calm as a cucumber, she replied, “Safety is being in the middle of God’s will.”
I never forgot her words. When living became dangerous, these workers would pray and continue the work. I was ready to run and hide. Most did not fear for their lives. Why? They were more concerned about submitting to the will of their loving heavenly Father, who determines their eternity and values them, than fearing what any man could do to them.
In Luke 12:4-7, Jesus is teaching his disciples while the multitudes are gathering around them to fear God first. We tend to fear what the world says about us and what man can do to us, but Jesus is warning his disciples that they have a mission to fulfill. The fear of powerless men should not be their greatest concern. Their greatest fear should be NOT fulfilling God’s call and purpose in their life. In time, most of these chosen followers would be martyred for spreading the gospel. Their eternal reward would be great.
The missionaries in Yemen taught me much. They were not afraid to give their lives for the cause. They humbly bowed before their loving God who cares for them deeply and only wants the best for them. He was preparing a place for them in His eternal kingdom.
When I turn on the news and see all the unrest and danger for Christians in Afghanistan, I remember the faithfulness of the missionaries in Yemen. Safety is being in the middle of God’s will. But when in Yemen, I carefully placed my foot in the tracks of their feet just to make sure!
May God’s people in America, who’ve had it easy compared to some parts of the world, find safety in the middle of His will and His loving arms. And may we pray fervently for those believers in Afghanistan.
About the author: Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. She served as a trustee of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1990-1998 and has done mission work in Yemen, Gaza, China, Romania, and The Czech Republic.
Ginny’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in media interviews nationwide. Her recent book, Unleash Your God-given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer, was written with commentary from an oncologist after her cancer journey. It has been featured on CBN, CTN, Atlanta Live, American Family Radio, etc. and has won four awards. Cancer prevention blog and more info at http://www.ginnybrant.com.
Join the conversation: Where do you find safety?