By Tina Yamaguchi:
I’ve talked to lots of people who were afraid of the future, particularly events of the Endtime as described in the Bible’s final book, Revelation. Several have said they were afraid to even read those parts of the Bible and would rather not think about it, much like a child who closes his eyes when he’s afraid, hoping trouble won’t see him.
I must admit that I, too, used to be fearful of coming events. Even though I had been taught all my life about God’s power and plan to protect His own in the dark days to come, the mind has a way of forgetting such reassurances when it gets busy worrying. Then something happened that changed that.
Two and a half years ago I discovered that I was pregnant, and that same month God called my husband and me to be missionaries to Africa. The latter was an even bigger surprise because I had lived in Japan most of my life and was actively involved in a counseling program for university students and other charity work. I spoke Japanese, was happy and fulfilled, and felt I had settled into the place God had for me–but then He told me He had some other things to teach me, and that a change of scenery would be just the thing!
After overcoming the initial shock and having a little time to adjust to the idea, I became excited about going somewhere completely different. Within a few months we were on our way. We stopped in Europe to visit my husband’s family, and while we were there we contacted some members of The Family who were already in Africa and whom we planned to team up with.
They urged us to bring everything we would need for the baby, as such things were either hard to find, poor quality, or prohibitively expensive in that part of Africa. Baby things were not inexpensive in Europe, either. To make matters worse, it was winter and the baby would be born in tropical East Africa. No one was selling summer baby clothes.
I started to feel the weight of what I was getting myself into. Was I crazy or being irresponsible to be going to Africa with a baby on the way? How on earth was I going to get everything I needed in such a short time and with so little money? Why me?! I broke down in tears.
I was at rock bottom, but that’s not a bad place to be sometimes because then all you can do is look up. I read verses from the Bible on the subjects of encouragement and God’s care, and started to realize that as much as I loved my child and wanted only the best for her, God cared about us even more. He was more than able to provide everything we needed. I had only to rest in His arms and listen when He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me … and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
Comforted by these thoughts but still not knowing how He was going to supply all we needed in such a short time, we decided to look at flea markets, where it is sometimes possible to find good quality used children’s items. One advertisement looked perfect: “Furniture and children’s clothes.” Off we went with some friends, only to find that the flea market had almost nothing but antiques and old paintings. One stall had two baby shirts–not exactly “everything we would need”!
There I stood, completely dismayed and discouraged, when our friends ran up to us, breathless and excited about something they had found. Great, I thought. Two or three more baby shirts. That should cover it. But then I reminded myself that God was my Father and He would not let me down.
What they had found was one stall I had somehow overlooked, where a man was selling his child’s complete set of clothes from newborn to one year old. All of it was in near-perfect condition and most of it was for summer! There were also some toys and other baby items we would need. When the man heard we were going to Africa as missionaries, he practically gave it all to us!
Later, my sister-in-law, who works for a pharmaceutical company, gave us everything else we would need–vitamins, creams, powders, you name it. By the time we left for Africa, we didn’t lack a thing!
What does that have to do with fears about the Endtime?–Now whenever I am faced with such fears, especially in regards to our little girl, I recall that experience.
If you have those fears too, think about how much you love your children and to what lengths you would go to protect and provide for them, then multiply that by a million. God is the best Father you could possibly have. We are only human, so it’s inevitable that we sometimes let our children down or are less than perfect parents, but God will never fail. We are safe in His arms forever!