He Will Strengthen Your Heart

Field Story by Melissa James, India

“But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.”

“O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear…”

– Psalm 10:14,17

I sat on the emergency room bed, sick to the point I needed medical care. Medical procedures and treatments available in India can be similar to the United States, depending on the hospital you visit. However, I had a relentless fear, as a worrier by nature, I’ve fought against it my whole life.

As I went through different scenarios in my head, I fought against the fear and called out to my Father. My prayer was short and to the point. Jesus, help me. I’m scared, and I need you. My hospital visit continued for several hours, and in the midst of uncertainty, I was reminded God hears every single plea. He hears our desires, our cries for help. We have His ear, He is listening. The medical issues I arrived at the hospital with didn’t magically disappear. They unfolded over the next few weeks and months. Through every up and down, even when I felt alone, I had a Helper. I had Someone who was defending me in my battle against fear.

Shortly after the first emergency room visit, I sat with one of the girls who lives on the Back2Back India Campus. She was struggling with fear, and shared her worry of not being able to sleep at night. I looked at her and said, “I understand how you’re feeling. I have the same feelings at times.” She looked at me, surprised by our shared fear. The following moments were precious as we discussed our great need to go to the Helper in times of uncertainty. Our situations may not change. God doesn’t always answer how we hope, however, as we walk through trials, He never once leaves us. Praise God we have the privilege of turning our hearts to Him, offering weakened pieces in exchanged for His strength. It is in holding on to this offered strength, we move forward.

Fear can sometimes feel like a familiar friend in the midst of life’s trials. Whether we are an orphan or not, we all have things we fear. God is promising in Psalm 10 to listen to us, to strengthen our hearts, to help us – regardless of where we are, or what we fear. Melissa is in the Indian hospital, tossing scenarios and fears around in her head when she finally breathes deeply and calls out to the One who quiets every storm.  

There’s a song by Hillsong United entitled “Not Today,” and a line in the song says, “Fear is just a liar running out of breath.”  The children you’ll serve need reminded as much as we each do, that the battle they fight is against an enemy who ultimately loses steam when facing our Savior. Jesus longs to meet us in an Indian hospital, on a mission trip, or anywhere we find ourselves afraid. We do not need intricate words to compel our Father to act on our behalf. He delights in helping His children. We need only call out to Him.

Jesus, today I feel fear for _________________________. Thank you for listening patiently to my fear and strengthening me today. Amen.

  • Can you think of a time you were fearful and needed to call out to God for help? How does it feel to know we don’t need fancy words to get His attention?
  • What is a verse or song you remind yourself of in the midst of feeling fearful?
  • What is one way you can practically fight fear in your own life?