What’s it like to step on a plane in the Bible Belt and step off the plane in a country where the Gospel isscarce? You are prepared with physical items you have been told to bring to make life more comfortable for your family. After setting up house, and trying to grasp life in an ‘everything different’ world, the Darkness evades you personally. Christians on every corner are not there. Your church family who have loved you and prayed for you are not there. Missionary families you had fellowship with in America are now gone. You are alone in a strange country with your spouse and your children—–and the Darkness is felt.
You see, in America, there is still light – much light! Not enough light, probably, but still there is light. When a child of God invades the devils territory where he rules in his darkness, life changes. All too real is the battle – I call it the Darkness than can be felt.
I wish I could have been more prepared somehow for the overwhelming darkness when we first arrived in Scotland in 1980. It was only three of us at the time – My husband, Jim, and our precious daughter, Tamara. We stayed our first six weeks in a three story mission house downtown Edinburgh with veteran missionaries, Jim and Bobbie Whitted. We had one room on the second floor where the three of us slept with all we owned in this world. Tamara slept on a cot at the foot of our twin beds. She cried every night for weeks for her grandmother. Time passed and we finally had our own house. Jim was out knocking on doors 6 long days a week inviting people to our services in a school building we were renting on Sundays. I would pack him a lunch and he would drag in late evening with a frozen mustache and many stories. On Sunday mornings, we would arrive at the rented building and setup for church with no heat. You must understand, then in Scotland, it was always cold. We would wait looking out of the window, all three of us, praying for someone to come. And for a very long time, no one came.
Why? Because people were accustomed to the dark. John 1:5 says “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” I had to learn and am still learning that our mission does not require us to change people. We cannot change anyone ever – only God can! It is our mission to be a light – even a small light makes a BIG difference in the dark. You see, we are on the little end of something big. That LIGHT is THE GOD! And HE can and does change people.
You see, knowing that It’s all about HIM takes away a tremendous burden. The results are up to HIM. We just have to be a faithful, working light and He does the rest because it’s all about Him.
I wish I had only known that truth when we first began this journey. Because I have prayed, sweated, and labored long trying to erase darkness. If only I had looked in His sweet face many years ago and listened to His sweet, gentle voice saying to me, “I can do this, just get behind ME and you will have all the light you need.”
Father, help all of us to know that life really is all about YOU and YOU defeated darkness a long time ago.”