As I sit on the plane, headed to Kenya for the first official trip of Running the Race, I am in awe of what God has done even before we have set foot in the country. The last 24 hours have been difficult, but as I look at the few weeks leading up to January 15th, I see that God was readying me for the attack. The preparation actually began when I didn’t know it was happening, or that I even needed it. Leading up to the trip, I was feeling unusually calm about flying for 16 hours, leaving my four children, and traveling to a third world country. In fact, I was rejoicing in the fact that peace was reigning. Then, there was a terrorist attack at a hotel in Nairobi on January 15th that killed 21 innocent people. My peace left, and fear set in. Isn’t it amazing how quickly that can happen?
Thankfully, God had prepared me. Just a week before, I led Ellie’s bible study group through a lesson on Rahab. We spoke of how Rahab feared God, and because of that proper fear, she had amazing faith and had no other fear. We looked at Psalms 118:4,6, “O let those who fear the Lord say, ‘His lovingkindness is everlasting.’ The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?”
Then a few days later, God gave me 2 songs to meditate on – “A Mighty Fortress” and “Come to Me” – both on Heartsong’s Cathedral album.
“A Mighty Fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing…..
And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us.
We will not fear for God has willed, His truth to triumph through us.”
“I am the Lord your God. I go before you now.
I stand beside you. I’m all around you
I am the Lord your peace. No evil will conquer you.
Steady now your heart and mind. Come into My rest.
I am your anchor in the wind and waves. I am your steadfast so don’t be afraid.
Though your heart and flesh may fail you, I’m your faithful strength.”
The call to worship in church last week spoke to me as well.
Psalm 46:8,10-11, “Come and see what the Lord has done. He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Through the study of Rahab, the two songs, and the verse, God was preparing me. He knew that I would once again face fear. He knew that I would need to be reminded of His sovereignty; I would need to be called into His rest; I would need to claim His victory. I am so thankful that God goes before us. I am so thankful for God’s tender care.
The team had a conference call on the evening of January 15. The group shared thoughts regarding the attacks and our plans to arrive in that city 2 days later. The overwhelming and consistent message was that God had called us, God would be with us, and we should obediently trust Him. We then closed the call with an amazing time of prayer. God had united us in a special way before many of us had even met each other.
Today as we were leaving, my sister sent me the perfect verse.
1 Samuel 12:24, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.”
Satan will not undo us. God has willed – His truth to triumph through us. We will rest in Him. We will only fear God, and serve Him with our whole hearts. A mighty fortress is our God and no evil will conquer. He will be exalted in all the earth. Consider what great things He has done for you.