A few weeks ago I relaunched my blog to share what Jesus has been teaching me. And also (shameless plug) to promote the release of Lisa Harper’s new bible study, Hebrews (click that link!). Hebrews is all about Jesus, who he was, how he acted, how he taught – and it got me thinking about how I want to be. So I’ve launched myself into a side study looking at all the crazy human emotions we feel, and how Jesus reacted to them throughout his life – and its been empowering.
I’m starting with fear because I think its a paralyzes my life at times. Fear can easily rob me of my joy, without me even knowing it – which is the scariest part. I can be so focused on the fear of what if, that I can’t even think about or focus on the truth of what is.
The biggest things I’m afraid of (in no particular order):
Flying – This is a new one for me. I’ve flown my whole life with no problems. On the way home from serving on a mission trip in Brazil our plane hit some bad turbulence and I had a panic attack on the plane. And I haven’t quite been the same since.
Death – I know my future after I leave this world, I know where I’m going and who I get to be – but there are a lot of unknowns about Heaven too. And it scares me. Growing older has scared me ever since I can remember.
Making big decisions – What if I make the wrong one? What if the horse farm behind the house we just put an offer on smells in the summertime? What if I lose my job and I can’t afford my car payment? What if this color of sheets is better than that color? – it really is endless.
Canadian Geese – They’re mean. They hiss. They cross the street and block it without a care in the world. And they pooped on me right before my big game in pee-wee cheerleading once. Scary.
And so it goes. And my fear can control my life at times. And then God blessed us with a dog.
Lucy is afraid of the UPS truck. It drove past her once while she was outside and she ran so hard and so fast that she slipped out of her collar, broke her leash, and took off running.
Lucy is afraid of the vacuum. Every time we turn it on she runs and hides in another room until she hears it shut off. And she won’t go near the thing until it is put away and she is “safe.”
Lucy is afraid of the ironing board. Greg gets it out to iron his dress shirts and she’ll run and jump on the top of the back of the couch. And she’ll stay there until Greg is finished.
And I watch her and I think to myself – a UPS truck, a vacuum and an ironing board – is she serious? My brain is equipped to know a UPS truck won’t follow you and run you over, and a vacuum poses no threat at all. And an ironing board? No idea where that even comes from. But Lucy’s brain doesn’t know that, and wasn’t made to know that. And then it clicked – I bet that’s how God feels about our fears.
His mind is so vast, his understanding is so much deeper than ours, that our fears probably aren’t fears at all. And God knows – that everything that happens is all a part of his plan (fear included) – so why the fear? And why do we let it control our lives?
When Lucy gets scared I always pet her and tell her everything is going to be ok – “mommy’s here” (like a baby, I know). And that’s exactly what God has done for us through his son Jesus. He lived, breathed and embodied a fearless self. When he was being persecuted, followed, tortured and mocked – he was fearless. The Pharisees were plotting his death – he was fearless. It was the enemy that was attacking him then, and its the same enemy that attacks now in the form of fears. And that heroic kind of Jesus is the same one that stands beside us when we are afraid. We need to persevere knowing that he holds our hand.
When Jesus walked on water, the boat of disciples were afraid of him. They cried out in fear and thought he was a ghost. But in Matthew 14:27 – “Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” We need to look at the ghosts in our lives and have that same courage that Jesus invites us to take.
I’m not saying our fear doesn’t have merit, I’m saying we shouldn’t let it (the enemy) control our lives like we (I) sometimes do. Jesus didn’t let it define his life, and we shouldn’t let it define ours. We need to live undaunted.
“God knows that fear will not get us through danger. But love can, and a sound mind will, and courage. Courage afterall, is not the absence of fear, it is the will to persevere even in the face of fear. God’s power resides in us.” – Christine Cane, Undaunted.