Last week I sat down and began typing this post. I got pretty far, had a lot of words, spent a good amount of time. Now what I was going to say seems of little importance. There is something else heavy on my heart.
May and June have been busy. The Lord has provided so much work! He has fulfilled every financial expectation I had for this season. Church has resumed in person and I am so glad. Many things are back to normal and there is a relief that comes with that.
But last night I couldn’t sleep. The horror and the shock kept me awake. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to give Satan the spotlight, nor do I fully understand how to relate the events anyway.
A murder in my town in Haiti. A voodou bokor controlling a zombie, a flash of light in the dark, all the blood in the man’s body drying up as he shrunk to skin and bones. He was Nelson’s friend. That is how he died. I bet you’re thinking “Wait, no, that is something from a horror movie, it can’t be real.” I would have agreed even a year ago. But it is very much real. I don’t understand it, but it really happens.
It wasn’t the incident that I needed to write about. We have been so distracted. I have been distracted. The virus, the riots, the natural disasters, the anger and division. It has stolen nearly everyone’s focus in this season.
Christians, are you afraid of sickness and death? So much that the great commission is put on hold? We hide out in our houses and put up walls. I understand, I do. Because that murder could have been my Nelson. Yet the world is drowning in darkness! And you and I, we have the life raft. We have Christ. Is the fear of what could happen to our natural bodies so great that we would let thousands, and millions drown. Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy. We see him at work perhaps more now than ever before.
The airport in Haiti may be opening in July. The prime minister says it must be soon. I pray for that every day. I have gone to Haiti 10 times in the last 2 years. I’ve felt relatively safe. This time feels different. I know that there is a lot going on beyond the surface. It’s not safe. Haiti is not safe. There is so much that could happen. I’d be lying if I told you I am certain that everything will be okay. I’d be lying if I told you I’m not afraid for my fiancé’s life, every day I am. He and I are perfect targets, as are many that I work with. We have ties to America, follow Christ, and desire to push out the presence of voodou and break spiritual bondage. My natural instinct would tell me to leave that corrupt nation with Nelson for the safety of the US and make a life here instead. But God has not opened that door so I know that is not His plan right now.
I’ve been distracted. I have looked at the events happening rather than who is at work behind them. Satan is at work. He’s always been. So many people are being used by him, in his name. His aim is to get us focused on the problem at hand so that we forget to stand against the evil he is sowing into the hearts of men and using them to create the problems. I’ve wrongly seen what is happening as a “medical problem” or a “racial problem” or a “broken government problem,” or a “lack of criminal justice problem.” None of these are the true problem. They are the fruit, the dark and deadly fruit, of evil warring in the spiritual realm. Does it make you uncomfortable to recognize that? Well it needs to be recognized. And if we don’t realize that then Satan’s tactic has been effective.
I for one am done watching Satan terrorize God’s people. He has sent people running afraid. And kept us isolated and distanced, because that is where we are weakest. I have never been a good evangelist. My preference has always been quietly working in the background. I don’t know how to best go about proclaiming the Good News while not being affected by the bad news that is often more visible in the world. But I am willing. I am willing to go into the uncomfortable realm. To step out and stand up against evil.
I’m not going to be distracted anymore because my enemy is not a measly little germ, my enemy is not the one who refutes my political view, my enemy is not a storm, my enemy is not poverty or hunger, my enemy is not one who speaks evil of me needlessly. My enemy is Satan who has worked for so long in all these things to bring hate and fear on the people of God and to enslave the weak.
This may scare some of you. It may cause my family to worry a little more when I get on that plane again. Don’t let it. God has the final word. He gives us the ability to go where He sends and do what He asks, every time. He is faithful to provide blessing after blessing, and joy incomprehensible in the midst. He doesn’t promise a long and safe life but He does promise that Satan can have no power over one who is held in His hand. (John 10:28)
Distraction is deadly for the believer and distraction is deadly for the mission. Recognize the powers at work in all of this. (Ephesians 6:12) My heart cries more and more each day, “Come Lord Jesus, come.” Now whether we live or die we are His. (Romans 14:8)