A few days ago I was asking you about how you trust after you’ve been hurt. How hard it is to not fear that same stuff could happen again.
Funny thing happened during and right after that. Everywhere I turned I heard a message about not fearing. When I was searching for images to share from Pinterest with the last post there was an acronym about FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.
The next morning I had an email that was forwarded to me from Fred. It was entitled “What Does God Want From Me?” It talked about how we want to change and we’re focused on ourselves, not on Christ, the only one who will bring us sanctification. And we will only be sanctified when we stand before Him.
As Fred and I discussed this, I kept telling him I wanted to be done. I was sick of living in fear. It’s amazing how much lack of trust will affect a relationship! And not just with him, with various people. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is and how it can overwhelm me at times.
The next morning I was reading in Romans and it talks about how we’re stubborn (Chapter 2) and refuse to turn away from our sin. In verse 15 it talks about the Gentiles demonstrating that God’s law was written on their hearts. And it made me think about my heart. What is written on my heart? I know God’s law is written there, but what’s happened to it?
It seems like it’s become dusty, faded. I “know” God’s laws and what he expects, but does the life I live show whether or not what’s in my head is also written on my heart. When it comes to fear, or lack of trust, I know in my head that I have victory in Christ, but I don’t always live it out through my heart.
I can get defensive, worried, angry, and offensive. Some days I want to build a wall to protect myself and other days, oh man, I come blazing a trail taking out anyone in my path. Fight or flight. One of those always seems to be occurring in reaction to fear.
But here’s the thing…oh wait…forgot one more reminder (hold please)
I was listening to the radio. KTIS was streaming and all of a sudden after a song the DJ started talking…about fear. And she talked about how fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. It was truly at that moment that I felt like God said to me, “Are you really ready to be done?” It was if for a moment I COULD see the forest through the trees! I was seriously hating the affect fear had on my life, at what it has stolen from me.
So that’s the “thing”. I have a choice to make. I can choose to allow the bombardment of thoughts to produce fear in my life or I can use Christ as my shield and say “No! That is it! I’ve had enough!” And that’s precisely where I want to stay.
Will I? Probably not all of the time because I have to honestly say, when I get upset or concerned, I usually have good reason (in my mind). Something has occurred (or sometimes hasn’t occurred) that causes doubt and mistrust to come into my mind. Where someone might respond, “oh no problem,” I respond, “huh, ok,” and in my mind I start to think up reasons why whatever just happened, happened. Is there some dishonest motivation behind it? What am I not being told? And if they aren’t being truthful, how much power does that give them over me for the next time. And that’s only the tip of what runs through my brain.
But I want to be done with that. Reading what I do with myself mentally, don’t you get a sense of exhaustion and anxiety? Maybe not, but I sure do. Imagine if you will, me accepting something at face value. Not reading into it or churning it in my brain until I explode. Just think of how peaceful it would be to be in that moment where I decide out-right to turn it over to God. “Here, have it. You know exactly what’s going on. Whether now or later (sometimes much later) you will deal with whoever it is in your perfect judgment if they need to be dealt with.” I can just sense so much victory, and peace that would go along with letting go.
And this doesn’t just deal with fear. It can be about anything you have going on in your life that turns you away from Christ and the peace he brings. If you ever get into this place like I do, what brings you out of it? Where do you find hope and peace?
Truly, we are victors in Christ if we know him. We are his children. Who could love us more and want the best for us? Find your rest, peace and hope in him. That’s what I’ll be trying to do!
*photo courtesy of Sean Smith, Campbell River, British Columbia