March…I feel like something that kept coming to my mind in various ways this last month was the importance of sharing the light that I have.
One way it hit me was by multiple deaths, none of the deaths were of people we were close to, but we are close to the people that they left behind here on earth. I (Katy) went out to a village for the burial of the uncle of the girl who comes to our house once a week. I didn’t actually go to the burial spot, but I was there when they brought the body to the courtyard. I was inside the house, but I heard the screaming. I peaked out the window to see a lady being taken from the crowd by two men as she yelled and seemed to be collapsing. Later on a young girl was brought into the house also screaming, crying and flailing around.
As this was my first burial to attend here, I have a lot to learn in this area, maybe that’s just the way they mourn, but the thought that kept coming to my head was the verse that says “O, death where is your sting?” (2 Cor. 15:55) and I kept thinking…there IS a sting, very much so! There is a sting for lost people, a sting of not knowing where the dead man’s spirit is now, a sting of having to make sure they do things just right after the death so nothing bad happens. The sting of the widow and her 8 or more kids having to live without their husband and father and to my knowledge without a relationship with their heavenly Father to comfort and sustain them and give them hope. There is a sting to death, if you’re not in Christ.
How selfish of me to keep the peace, hope and joy I have a secret from those who hurt so deeply.
Another thing that’s pushed me to be more vocal about my God is the fact that our time in Senegal is running out, next month our plan is to be moving to Burkina Faso. Earlier on in our time here, I didn’t feel like I had enough French to be able to clearly talk about spiritual things, I also was still learning HOW to approach the subject in a way that was appropriate in this culture. Now that the end is so near in sight, I’m realizing my opportunities for sharing the Truth with my friends is running out.
And lastly, but most importantly, I’ve been challenged to share because of what I’ve been reading in God’s Word. One verse in particular is 1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”. You see I used to be terrified of witnessing, but yet it was something that always hung over me like a burden, something I felt I should do. But now as I look back at my heart attitude it was all about feeling like I should witness so I wouldn’t have to worry about it any more, at least I had done my part. But as I look at Scripture, I realize it needs to flow from love. I’m not sharing just any old thing, I’m sharing about the One who pulled me from the dark to the light!
Another thing I’ve realized, is that I used to worry about making sure I said it all, what if I forgot something important? Now I realize that to share EVERYTHING about my Father in one setting is underestimating His greatness, rather it’s more about continually, time after time sharing different aspects. For one thing I’m still learning more and more about Him and for another, that can give the hearer time to really think and let it soak in, it’s not just about hearing a basic plan of salvation once and being done. We see in the Scriptures that even we believers need lots of reminders, we have a tendency to forget. (see 1 Peter 1:9-15)
So I ask for your prayers. That you pray for our friends who do not have the peace that comes with total forgiveness, who don’t have the hope of life with God. And that we would be open and bold about the abundant blessings we have in Christ.