Sunrise in Manzini

Is it safe?

We’ve occasionally been asked this question about our move overseas and yes, thoughts of our baby boy’s safety have entered into our minds. But for us, Brandon and me, we had not given much thought to our personal security.

During our two weeks of training before flying to Swaziland, we covered persecution and martyrdom, but it wasn’t until a dear family member hugged us at the airport and tearfully whispered her request for us to be safe that I began to feel a bit of fear.

I felt almost a sense of guilt that I was a contributor to possibly putting our family’s safety in jeopardy, had now carelessly flung it away, and it was too late to turn back.

But then, God’s peace. I didn’t realize He had given me peace about this until I briefly felt that fear.

Seth Barnes, our fearless leader at AIM, wrote this blog the other day, “Is Safety an Idol?”

How timely for us.

Seth writes, ”No, it’s not safe. Jesus is not safe. Neither does he want those of us who follow him to be safe. He said, ‘the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force.'” (Matthew 11:12)

There have always been enemies of Peace and Love forcing their own agendas and if we are committed to advancing God’s kingdom, it is inevitable that we are going to meet this opposition at some point, if not at many points.

Seth also notes that Jesus literally promises us that life with God doesn’t mean a life without hardship. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

To me, Jesus’ promise isn’t that he will fix or eliminate our hardships, but that he has defeated something greater: Death and Sin.

Sin and death are scary, big words, but in Jesus, we have the assurance that he is Bigger, He is victorious, and through him, we are too.

It is easy to say all this now, before experiencing any real hardship here, but for now, all I can say is, “I trust.” I trust that God is Bigger.

I trust that He is Good. He is in control. He loves us and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

God has given us a clear call to Swaziland, and we’re curious and ready to see what he has in store for us here. We believe the Gospel is much more precious than anything we could lose. That might sound like an empty “christianese” thing to say- but you cannot find more genuine Life outside the gospel. How can we deny such a blessing to someone else because of our fear?

Grace and peace,
Melinda

Author Melinda Babb

Melinda is a missionary serving in Swaziland Africa with her husband Brandon and their son Zachary. She splits her time between managing payroll and communicating with Adventures Swaziland followers and donors.

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