Good friends are hard to find. As the old adage goes, “If you want a friend in Washington DC, go buy a dog.” And I’ve seen that to be true more than once up on Capitol Hill.
One of my closest friends in Washington is a former diplomat, Israeli/American, who grew up in Bosnia. He’s such a fun human to hang out with, and as we discuss global events, and politics, for the last three years we’ve centered our lives on the message and teachings of Jesus.
We started going through the sermon on the mount a few years ago, and his love for Jesus and the teachings grew from casual observer to literally everything we do together now we pray.
We pray before we eat.
We pray before we travel together.
We pray before we go up to the hill.
We have an interesting way to encourage one another through prayer.
When he’s feeling down, we pray, and I can see the light sparkle back in his eyes.
When I’m feeling weak, we pray, and I feel like someone out there in the world understands what I’m going through too.
So when he told me last week he was traveling to a dangerous place in the world, I knew we had to pray. We got a few guys around and spent some time praying for wisdom, guidance and protection. And in the middle of our prayer huddle, he admitted to me; although this trip was going to be important, he was a bit nervous.
I could sense FEAR.
I immediately thought of David and the fear he confessed to the the Lord in Psalms 56. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust, I shall not be afraid.” (v.3-4)
We spoke words of encouragement and stood together to commit to pray for one another.
And that is a life I want to live.
I want to live a life together with people who are willingly aware of the fear in life.
In Washington, if you admit fear, the intuitive self fears a backlash of weakness. Politicians fear it may be something viewed as a potential hole in their strong ability to lead. Staff members see fear as something that keep them from advancing their careers. And the people who are maintaining the operations of the government are fearful of their next paycheck.
And then God calls us to a place of reliance.
Fear is the biggest enemy of togetherness. It’s the arrow the enemy uses most effectively to isolate us from a place where we sit and think we’re alone, going through something in life that no one else is dealing with.
FEAR IN OTHERS
It’s amazing all the different ways the enemy uses fear to infect those I am interacting with on Capitol Hill…
One friend is fearing the end of a career, wondering if there’s anything left to give to be a productive member of his chosen profession.
Another friend is dealing with having to go back to his home country after a year away working in Washington, wondering what the next chapter holds.
One friend is fearful of the impact he may have when introducing a life saving bill
While still another is fearful of a child at home, hurting.
Fear is all around us.
But when we claim to follow a God who defeated death, what is there to fear? (I know it’s easier said than done.)
I’ve found a renewed love for sitting in the seat of prayer with people willing to admit fear. To look them in the eye and understand at a core level, fear is something we are all wrestling. Although we feel isolated, when we take time to be self aware enough to understand our fears, we can stare them in the face and pray, “Lord take this from me. I’m not strong enough to overcome this. You have to intercede.” Just like David did in the Psalms.
And then, when we feel the encouragement of another, I truly believe we are living into the “best” of what Jesus calls us to live.
- To Love God, as understand He owns it all.
- And the second greatest commandment to Love our neighbor, through the encouragement of one another.
Thank you for your continued prayer. Keep praying for DC. There’s a lot of angst in this city but God continues to be on the move.