In this post from the Diospi Suyana Hospital, they acknowledge once again that we are depending on God for our sustenance. This is so important, and so easily forgotten. Every part of me wants to be self reliant, not needing anything; and every part of me wants some assurance that things will be OK and that someone will take care of things because I realize I cannot do it on my own. This dichotomy of thought plagues the Christian life for many, and we need God to help us sort thought it. But through all our confusing and dual-minded thoughts, we can pray and trust God to work it out. These women pray for our school especially, and I trust that it makes a difference. Please keep praying for us.
For 5 years, a group of mothers has met in private homes in Curahuasi to pray together. On Wednesday mornings, 5 to 10 women leave their daily tasks for an hour to engage in a focused prayer time. Praying all together or in smaller groups, they ask God to provide for their children and families, for the needs of the mission hospital, and for the concerns of the school. They also pray for the Diospi Suyana staff and patients, as well as the many children of the village.
No one can measure what a positive influence these meetings have had over the past few years. Being in the presence of God brings rest, strength, and blessing.
I have been thinking about the fear of the Lord as I have read Hebrews. I came across a verse in Hebrews 11 where it describes Noah building the ark in “holy fear”. I am also reading Tim Keller’s very good book “Prayer” and in part of the book he discusses some rules for prayer and references John Calvin’s recommendation that prayer starts in the “fear of the Lord”. So I have been thinking about this as I have read his book and as I have seen it mentioned in the scripture. How do we live in or experience the “fear of God”? And what does it mean exactly?
I don’t think it is really so hard to understand what it means. Most of us have had the experience of meeting someone and being intimidated to speak for fear of saying something wrong or doing something wrong. We were not in fear for our safety, but we had a “fear” of the encounter. This happens with authority figures, but it can happen even with people we are very pleased to meet. Tim Keller calls it a “joyful fear”. We are happy to meet a person, even excited, yet we don’t want to say or do something to mess it up. I might actually feel this way if I had a chance to talk to Tim Keller himself. It is a sense of awe, enthusiasm, hope, and intimidation combined. Keller reminds us if we feel this way about people, how much more should we feel it when we are in the presence of God! Or when you are a child, you have a fear of you father, but also you know that he is your protector because of his strength. The Father is the source of both comfort and there is a healthy fear of his discipline and displeasure.
On the other hand, I do think it is a little hard to understand exactly how we live in or experience the “fear of God”. For me the application part of Bible study is always the hardest. Noah built the ark in “holy fear”. How do we do the work of God and live our lives in “holy fear”? For sure faith is a big component of living this out. This verse describing Noah’s “holy fear” is in the context of the writer describing how these people lived in faith. Take a look at Hebrews 11. These men and women knew the will of God, and then they did it. And they did it in trust that what God promised would come to be, even when they often did not see those promises fulfilled in their lifetime. They lived knowing that being associated with God was better than any reward or experience of sin they could experience in this life. So based on Hebrews 11, living in the fear of the Lord entails having a sense of awe and respect for who God is, doing what he commands, living a life that demonstrates that you are identifying with God instead of with the world (look at the example of Moses who gave up the pleasures of sin and instead accepted persecution so that he could be identified with God’s chosen people), and trusting that he will take care of you and do what he has promised.
From left to right, Annie, Will, Peter, David, Allison, Sarah
As a continuation of Sunday’s and yesterdays posts. . . I, Allison, will not take regular classes, much as I loved them, for the next term. I will continue to work on my Spanish with a tutor on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for an hour each session. We are going to talk about hispanic culture and literature. My tutor, Laura, is from Chile, and has a Master’s degree in Latin cultural studies or something like that, and so I am looking forward to her South American perspective.
Please pray for me to have patience and wisdom as I homeschool the kids. Please pray that God will help me to continue to foster the friendships He has given me here even though I won’t be on campus as much. Please pray for me to have understanding and unflagging support as Will may need more time for school with his new FARO route. Please pray for me to embrace my role here at home and to relish the time I will have with the kids. Please pray for me to learn how to have solitude when the kids are home all day. Please pray for me to learn how to pray more. Please pray for me to be humble.
Thank you so much for your prayers. I don’t know where we would be without them.