From Worry to Watching
by Sharon W. Betters
Carol and I were tired but excited as we landed in Japan for a week of speaking as well as counseling military wives, missionaries and Japanese women. Our hostess, an older woman, exuded warmth, encouragement and most of all, Jesus. Before we began the first women's retreat, she gave us a tour of the simple but lovely missionary house, nestled in the side of a mountain. The more time we spent with this woman, the more Carol and I knew we were on holy ground. When she invited us to hike up the mountain, assuring me that I would be fine in spite of the soft cast on my healing broken leg, we eagerly piled into her old car, excited to soak up every minute of this strange land. We walked along a narrow pathway up the mountain, listening carefully as she pointed out altars and explained the meaning of some of the idols.
She described the spiritual darkness of the Japanese people who regularly made this trek for the purpose of praying to their idols. Her words and obvious passion for displaying Jesus in this spiritually dark land struck deep in to our souls and framed our view of the military harbor below. She said she often came here to pray over the city, imagining Jesus overlooking Jerusalem and crying out, , "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem.....how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing...." We joined hands and prayed for the upcoming seminars, for each woman who would attend and for the harbor city below, pleading for the Holy Spirit to open hearts and minds to the Savior, to our Redeemer. We felt the presence of Jesus. Our journey back down the mountain was a little more somber as we considered the opportunities and privilege of sharing Jesus with needy women, knowing we would never forget those moments on sacred ground. But our adventure was not over.
Our elderly hostess kept up a stream of conversation, describing some of the women we would soon meet. As she inserted the key in the car ignition, she continued talking, but suddenly Carol and I realized she wasn't talking to us. She seemed a little flustered and was talking to Jesus, asking Him how to get home. She could not remember the way. Carol and I looked at each other, more than a little unsettled. This was before cell phones and GPS aps. We had no idea of where we were or even where we were going and we didn't know the language.
Our hostess started driving, talking nonstop to Jesus, asking Him which way she should turn, interrupting her conversation with Him to ask if we remembered this building or that garden or that sign.......
For the rest of the story visit treasuresofencouragement.org.
In His Grip,
Sharon W. Betters
MARKINC Ministries is committed to leaning into the pain of life experiences that often go unnoticed by the church. The Learning to See When the Lights Go Out audio library addresses life's darkest circumstances that are difficult to discuss yet we are called on to help one another walk by faith, even when darkness falls. These are the real-life testimonies of people who have walked through these experiences and have learned to see when the lights went out. Browse the library for free downloads on such topics as Drug Addiction, Suicide, Loss of a Loved One, Chronic Illness, Chronic Illness in Young Adults, Widowhood, Divorce, Sexual Abuse and much more. Click here to learn more.
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