Coming back to Costa Rica after so long of an absence, yet knowing I’m only going to be here for a short time has made space for some serious reflection. It’s been more than humbling to see all that’s happening in Costa Rica. It has been almost overwhelming at times to watch the LFI staff own the vision, confidently engage the broken on the streets, and open their hearts to those that are in need of belonging. For what we may lack sometimes in monetary resource, LFI more than makes up for in the richness of the lives of our staff and volunteers.
After two weeks of feeling overwhelmed and graciously humbled, I remembered Psalm 18:19,
He brought me out into a wide open place; He delivered me because He was pleased with me.
Other versions say “spacious places.” Nonetheless, spacious places sound good and picturesque in the Bible; however, when you start to think about the reality of a spacious place, it doesn’t always give us the same warm feelings. Maybe I’m weird, but I immediately pictured a scene from the miniseries, Band of Brothers. A USA military unit is out in the woods during the winter fighting back the Germans, and while everything is quiet, you see Major Winters running along the line telling everyone to get ready. Then you see the enemy tanks coming up through the other side of the woods, out into a wide open space. Maybe that isn’t a pretty picture, but here is my point: wide open spaces are sometimes hard places. They’re places where you feel the tension of victory while also being keenly aware that struggle is right along side. Rescue, however, is the promise of these spacious places.
The day after I landed in Costa Rica, a precious life needing restoration was dropped into our laps. Although I can’t say much about her personal story, this young girl at just 18 years of age had experienced more trauma in her life than many people have encountered in their entire lives. She was desperately in need of a wide open space. Over the weeks she’s been with us there’s been struggle. She’s happy to be safe and starting a new life, however, the sense of fear and vulnerability is there too.
The unknown of wide open spaces is sometimes the very thing that keeps us from being rescued.
It’s when we choose to embrace the unknown and take that risk that we truly feel the delight of rescue. God takes pleasure in walking with us through these spaces. The question is do we really believe that to be true, and are we willing to walk with Him even when we feel afraid?