Stealing Life Away
Sometimes it takes your man traveling to the other side of the world to wake up to the reality of your life. A few weeks ago, Tim left for Nepal for ten days. Though I have been without him that long before when he trekked through Iceland, for some reason this time was different. I knew he would be very remote in the Himalayan Mountains and was not sure if I would hear from him at all.
When he landed in China, I heard from him. When he landed in Kathmandu, he texted. When he trekked to his first village, again Tim contacted me. The expectation was set. I would hear from him every day. Our digital world really is amazing.
Mother’s Day passed and he facetimed me. Reception was spotty but I grasped that he was headed on further into the villages for a seven-hour hike. I hung up with him and expected to get a text the next day.
I went to bed that night uneasy but not really worried. The next day, still no word. At this point, I just started praying for a quick “Hello.” Still, nothing. Around dinner time, my heart became more anxious. I knew that he would have to be getting back to the base soon in order to make liftoff.
I tucked the pixies into bed that night, and silently prayed all was well. As we lay there in the dark, I started counting my blessings. All the little things we take for granted every day. Every night. The sound of Tim’s voice reading the Bible as they lay in their beds. The smell of coffee being pressed in the morning. The expectation to meet together on the front porch and pray and dream.
The enemy says he comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
I reason that his thievery has often left me wasting my time on those things in life that do not matter in the long run. The numerous times Tim has asked me to come sit in the office with him and read a book aloud, but I opted instead for the comfort of my bed and television. Moments I sacrificed with those I love because I allowed my spirit to be stressed and rankled by the worries of the day.
As I left the girls that night, I went outside on my porch and spent some time in contemplation of things I wanted to do differently when Tim returned.
As the clock crept towards midnight, I was literally walking the floors. Over 48 hours since I had heard anything from him.
My sweet dad saw the anxiety in me and offered to pray with me. We sat down together, and asked to hear something from Tim. I don’t think ten minutes passed by and I checked my phone (for the hundredth time that day) and there was a text from him. He had just landed in Kathmandu. All was well.
Life can be stolen from us, bit by bit, piece by piece, if we let it. We allow things that have no eternal value consume our time and too often neglect those treasures we have been entrusted with. We opt for “rest” in front of our devices rather than “rejuvenation” in communion with our family. Or, we allow fear to drain the life out of us. We let anxiety sink its talons in our heart, and the peace of God no longer rules our minds.
Last week Pastor Alex preached from the book of Proverbs. Something he said struck me deeply. Proverbs makes clear that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Who among us does not desire to be truly wise? But too often I fear man, I fear circumstances, which in reality means I don’t have the fear of the Lord.
“Who are you to fear man when your Father is the Maker of heaven and earth?”
Fear steals life away. It drains our energy, causes us to falter in our faith, and detracts from wisdom. The enemy seeks to destroy our relationships with those closest to us by making us content with lesser things.
Sometimes it takes a trip across the world and some radio silence to open one’s eyes to the way life is being stolen away from us. I want to live life aware of the decisions I daily make which deplete life little by little.
The abundant life is the life most full. We are the ones living life, I will shout it over and over. Take a moment to explore your little one’s painting in greater detail, examining the awe of the Creator’s handiwork in their little hands. Spend time reading aloud a book together as a family after dinner. Rest in the Maker of heaven and earth who vanquishes every fear that tries to steal life away.
All is well with Him.