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October 2020 – Facing Fears and Marching On

Daniel is one of my favorite characters in the Old Testament.  God protected him when he was thrown into the lion’s den.  I often think of his story when I am interacting with the beautiful lions in South Africa.   There is a story in the Book of Daniel 3:16-18 about facing our fears and marching forward.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were told by King Nebuchadnezzar that if they did not bow down to his golden image, he would have them killed by throwing them into a furnace used to fire bricks.  The three of them refused to worship this golden image and instead continued worshiping only the God of Israel.  The king then decreed that they be burned in the furnace.  The furnace was so hot that the soldiers who threw them into the blaze were all killed by the heat of the furnace.  Soon the king noticed that there were four men walking about in the furnace unharmed by the flames and realized that the fourth man was the son of God.  The king then called them out of the furnace and seeing that they were indeed not injured by the blaze, decreed that everyone in his kingdom would from this day forward worship only the God of Israel.

I am not sure that I have enough faith to face the fiery furnace but we all face many fears now and again.  We can either be paralyzed by our fear or choose to march forward through the fear and trust God.

This current pandemic is causing significant economic fears and true health fears for many people.  We have been told that if we catch the virus, especially if we are older with other debilitating conditions, there is a good chance we could die.  I am 75, and while I do not feel old, the fact that I have had diabetes certainly puts me in the “high risk” population.

Last month, I found myself living with three family members for two weeks who all tested positive for the COVID-19. I never had any symptoms so I did not get tested myself, but I am sure that I was heavily exposed and could have been an asymptomatic carrier of the disease.  During my two weeks of quarantine, I continued to ride my bike 35 to 40 miles each day, confirming in my own mind that I was still healthy.  Along with my strong faith, I must admit that I often also practice denial.  I had recommended to many people over these last six months that we should all go on living our lives and not let this virus steal our joy.  God has measured each of our days and will one day call all of us home to him.  We must live each day to it fullest and not waste one minute worrying about things that we cannot control.

Beth and I have been blessed to be able to sell our beautiful acreage.  It appreciated significantly in value over the 30 years we called it our home, and we’ve decided to give 50% of it to God by donating it to Blessman International.  We hope it will create a legacy that will outlast the both of us.

I would encourage all of you to consider your own legacy, and what can you do with your resources while you are still alive to serve God and make this world a better place.

We got the good news this week that our feeding center is back open at Del Cramer, and Dustin will likely be able to travel to the US for a couple of weeks to visit and say goodbye to his childhood home.

God is good, all of the time.