By Kate Beless

It was so hot. 

The heat just seemed to grab me and wouldn’t release its sticky grip. And to add to the discomfort, I was holding my feverish child who was clinging to me as if his life depended on it as we waited to get his injection. After three days of a high fever that wouldn’t drop, we finally were able to get a diagnosis: malaria. 

The one thing I feared the most about coming to Africa was that my children would get malaria. 

You hear all these things about it being most dangerous for children under five, even fatal. You hear how the malaria in South Sudan is one of the most aggressive forms of malaria doctors have ever seen. We had taken all the steps to prevent it. The kids are on a daily prophylaxis, they sleep with treated nets, we use bug repellant, and yet here we were with a positive malaria test. 

Why did we have to face this fear? 

Now, I don’t want to sound dramatic.  We were lucky to catch it early and he made a quick recovery, praise the Lord. But in that moment, I was really shaken up. I sat there and held him tight as he cried, “I don’t want to,” over and over and over again. He was so scared of that injection, he didn’t want anything to do with it--yet it was the one thing that was going to heal him. 

It got me thinking--how many times do I cry, “I don’t want to,” over and over to the Lord when I have to face my fears? How many times do I kick and scream and push the things that are going to make me better?

Yes, it's sometimes painful to face our fears--like a jab of a sharp needle in our hearts and souls. Just as a needle can pump healing liquid into our bodies, however, it is often when the Lord has us confront our fears that we are sanctified and our faith is strengthened. When we were in the midst of praying through whether to move to South Sudan or not, I will admit that I did not want to do it.

I was so scared of moving here. 

Yet, the Lord gently revealed to me that unless I leave my comfort zone, my faith cannot be stretched. That is an uncomfortable realization, but one that we see many times throughout Scripture and it is all meant to glorify Him!