Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)
TITLE: "Eek and Awe" Moments
By Pete Charpentier
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Here’s what I mean. I define “Eek and Awe” moments as times in life when my fears yield to faith. In fact, I believe this is largely what following Christ is about. Many times in Scripture God calls His servants to forsake their fears for faithfulness to His will. For example, God tells Abram (see Genesis 15:1), Isaac (see Genesis 26:24), and Jacob (see Genesis 46:3) not to be afraid.
But God didn’t just tell the forefathers of Israel not to fear, He tells the Israelites themselves not to be afraid (see Exodus 14:13). The Lord also tells leaders like Joshua (see Joshua 8:1), Gideon (see Judges 6:23), Solomon (see 1 Chronicles 22:13), Jehoshaphat (see 2 Chronicles 20:15), and Hezekiah (see 2 Chronicles 32:7) not to be afraid. Likewise, He tells prophets like Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 1:8), Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 2:6), and Daniel (see Daniel 10:12) not to be afraid.
Of course, this message from the Lord isn’t confined to the Old Testament. It’s woven throughout the New Testament as well. For instance, God tells Zechariah (see Luke 1:13), Mary (see Luke 1:30), Joseph (see Matthew 1:20), the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth (see Luke 2:10), the women at the empty tomb (see Matthew 28:5, 10), Paul (see Acts 18:9; 27:24), John (see Revelation 1:17), the Believers in Smyrna (see Revelation 2:10), and, indeed, all Christians (see John 14:27) not to be afraid.
I think God’s point is clear: Don’t be afraid. Yet, one common denominator in all of these passages is that the Lord’s call to follow Him in faith is also a call to face our fears. These are “Eek and Awe” moments, and this is exactly what I personally experienced in Peru in two memorable ways.
First, as I traveled in a rented van through the Andes Mountains, the sights I saw were both fearful and awe-inspiring. At times the winding roads doubled-back to create a view straight down the edge of a cliff that made me want to slide away from the window. And yet, I found myself drawn closer to the window so I could peer into the cavernous depths below and the spacious skies above. These were “Eek and Awe” moments for sure!
Second, after our mission team arrived in Huancayo, I overheard one of the Peruvians say that a “transportation strike” was scheduled to begin on the first day of the training conference. This could create political unrest across the entire country, and it could mean that our team would have to walk through dangerous streets for about a mile one way. So we decided to prayer-walk our path and asked God to intervene by His power. Well, we prayed, and God worked. This turned out to be one of the most incredible “Eek and Awe” moments of my life thus far.
When our team met in the hotel lobby the next morning, on the day when the training conference and the transportation strike were both scheduled to begin, the Peruvians had an unexplainable smile on their faces. And when I listened to them share the local morning headlines, I understood why. The transportation strike indeed began, but it was taking place throughout the entire country of Peru except in the city of Huancayo! It was then that God reminded me of Exodus 10:20-23 and how during one of the plagues the Lord draped a thick darkness over all the land of Egypt except the places where the Israelites lived. This was an unforgettable “Eek and Awe” moment.
Again, I think the whole Christian life is a series of “Eek and Awe” moments (see Psalm 23:4-5; 27:1; 56:3-4, 11; 118:6). We’re on a journey of trust where our faith is flourishing and our fears are fading. God is using all the “Eek” moments of our fears as foils against which He can work in power to lead us to greater “Awe” moments of faith.
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