We welcome back Kate from Youth for Christ with today’s post! Thanks Kate!
A few years back I had an amazing opportunity to go on Safari in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park is around thirty-five times the size of Liverpool. So, it’s fair to say it’s MUCH bigger than Knowsley Safari Park and of course another huge difference…the animals are wild!
On our first drive out and just a couple of minutes away from our lodge, the driver stopped the van and we were face to face – and I mean face to face – with an elephant. I wanted to embrace the beauty of this magnificent creature and hold tight to how privileged I was to be in this moment, but I was actually pretty overwhelmed with fear and was keen for the driver to get going. I was torn between not wanting to miss out on seeing this giant, but also the reality of this being a wild animal and that anything could happen.
For the duration of the time I spent at Murchison Falls I went between these two feelings. Fascination and fear. One evening, trying to get to sleep, I could hear the not so distant sounds of all sorts of wildlife and my thoughts raced as to the potential arrival of a hippo or lion outside of our bedroom window at any point. Why did our room have to be on the ground floor? Somewhere higher would be safer! In the end I put my headphones in and cranked the music up to drown out the animal calls. If I can’t hear them, they’re not there.
Do you ever have those times in life were you try to shut everything out or pretend it doesn’t exist?
The stand out encounter of the trip for me was a few days in to our safari experience. We stopped to watch an elephant mum and her children plodding along in a line trunk to tail. It was really sweet, like something out of The Jungle Book. However, this scene was rapidly about to change and resemble something not too far off Jurassic Park. There’s a part in the film were a T Rex storms after a car (maybe check it out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it). Little did we know that ‘Dad’ wanted to join the line and we were in the way.
Elephants are loud. Elephants are big. Elephants are surprisingly fast. This HUGE bull elephant charged towards us. Our driver floored it and the elephant gave chase. Honestly, I thought we might not be coming out of this. Hakuna Matata means “no worries” – yeah right!!
Fear is a real thing and being unable to control the circumstances around us, in front of us and, for me in my safari encounter, behind us can be really hard. It can be terrifying.
In the middle of fear we look for security, assurance and hope.
In our van were friends who had been on safari before and a guide who had been out there a million times. Our vehicle was speedy and the odds of us escaping were high…and of course, we did, but for those seconds (it felt like minutes!!!) I was really afraid and there wasn’t anything anyone could say or do, to make it any better.
Throughout my life, I have had non-wildlife encounters that have have caused me to fear, too. Situations with friends and family, illness and circumstances beyond my control.
Throughout my life I have had God.
He is bigger than all my fears, doubts and worries. He is with me. He never leaves me.
My questions of what and why aren’t always answered but I choose to put my trust in Him.
Some people say Christianity, belief in God is a ‘crutch’. It makes you weak and you don’t need to rely on God to get you through.
Well, I’ll choose that ‘crutch’ every day. I can’t do everything in my own strength. I can’t get through pain, grief and loss without God. As I run from fear, I run to Him.
What are running from and who do you run to?
God is always there.
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