Fear has been a most unwelcome and yet ever-present presence in my life for as far back as I can remember.
Shadows in the bedroom as I was going to sleep…the certainty that something was under my bed and would grab my leg if tried to run kept me paralyzed under the covers.
We traveled most summers and as my dad would drive us through unfamiliar-to-me cities around the country at night, I would ride in the back seat gripped with fear.
What would happen if we were in an accident? How would we get help? How would we ever get home?
Having children instead of being a child only enhanced my capacity to paint deadly and painful scenarios over just about any event…
Feeding them the wrong food too soon? I may as well spoon poison into their sweet little mouths.
Summer camp? How could I possibly know if the people there or the other kids would not do them harm?
Bikes? Roller blades? and eventually cars?????
Now our children are making their way on their journey in cities-unfamiliar-to-me… on roads I only see glimpses of from time to time.
And we have three precious little lives that have been added to the mix.
I don’t need to list all the issues in front of us on a daily basis that could fuel and feed a wide range of fears…you can plug in your own “what if’s?” and I will spare you mine…
if I once thought adding pureed green beans a month too early could prove fatal, you can only imagine how I handle stuff like Campaign 2016 or the threat of terroism.
So here is today’s nugget of Scripture that I have been pulling up to apply to those times when I fear…
First the Scriptures and then how I talk them to myself/pray them/apply them…
1 John 4:17-19 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment (OR fear has its own punishment). So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us.
So I apply His Word by reminding myself that I received Perfect Love when I received Christ as my Lord and Savior.
I remind myself that when I allow fear to rule over me…when I cower to it…I am, in reality, bowing down to fear.
As fear washes over me and as I allow my fear to have power over me, I have pushed God off of the throne and placed the object of my fear in a higher place.
In meditating on His Word, I remind myself of the Cross.
I remind myself of His Perfect Love and I pray for more of a yielding of myself to His Love being perfected (accomplished, completed, made faultless) in me.
I know this is a work that only He can do and so I quiet my heart and instead of focusing on my fears, I focus on His Love being perfected …. having more room to work…in me.
And the I add to that…
Psalm 118:6 ESV
The LORD is on my side: I will not fear. What can man do to me?
and then repeated and affirmed in Hebrews 13:6 ….
Hebrews 13: 6 (HCSB)
Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Now…in fairness…this is a “therefore” so let’s take a look at what leads up to this conclusion:
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
In this I see “money” as worldly security…so
Laura…be free of your need to find security and comfort and peace from any source other than Jesus Christ Himself.
Be satisfied and content in the knowledge that He is always with you, He will never leave you.
He IS beside you…all the time…whether the circumstances look like it or not…
He. Is. With. You.
Do NOT be afraid.
Is it easy?
It is a daily dying to myself and to my tendency to fear.
It is a daily struggle to reign in my over-active imagination and my over-analyzing of circumstances and to bring those thoughts back in line with God’s Word.
And … HALLELUJAH!! … there IS progress…there IS growth…as we apply His Word.
My faith has grown and while I am not nearly “perfected”…I am notably BEING perfected…so…Yay!
If you are like me and struggle with fear, I pray for God to give you some breath prayer of truth to hold on to when the cold waves of it threaten to pull you under.
Here is what mine might look like on a given day:
Heavenly Father, I confess right now that I am deeply afraid of (name the event, scenario, thought that is causing me to hyperventilate).
Lord, You know me well…and You already know the outcome of this.
I know You are good.
I know You are in control of all of this.
So Lord, I open wide this place of fear to You and I ask You to perfect Your Perfect Love in me.
Replace the fear of man with Awe and Reverence for You today.
God bless you as you face your fear by facing your God <3