For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
My Dad loves to tell the story about the first time he took me up for a flying lesson. Flying along, controls in my little, five-year-old hands, we hit some turbulence. Dad looked over at me and asked, "Hey Lulu, are ya scared?" To which I replied, "Nope, but it's scary."
By the age of eight, I had become a very fearful child. I feared not fitting in, not having friends, not making good grades, not being a good athlete. I feared being hurt, getting sick, dying, other people getting sick, other people dying and other people getting hurt. I was pretty much freaked out all of the time about everything.
From the age of eight to the age of thirty-one, my coping techniques included visualization, positive thinking, mysticism and good, old fashion avoidance. Unfortunately, this began a never ending cycle of 'visualizing, thinking and agreeing' for the things I wanted/didn't want and then being fearful that I would lose them. This was a crazy way to live life but it was all I knew. Fear was my normal.
Jesus revealed Himself in my fearful world eight years ago. Today with Jesus, I am happy to report that I more closely resemble the little girl in the airplane. I am aware of the dangers of this world but remain unafraid because of my confidence in the One in the pilot's seat. (Qualifier: Most of the time.)
- Everybody's opinion seems to sway me like a ship without an anchor.
- Our calendar looks more like a community event board than a single family's list of activities.
- My thoughts are consumed by what I don't want to happen resulting in life in "defensive mode".
Paul addressed the fear we have of being separated from God's love and promises when he said, "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) I find those to be super comforting words when I'm fearful!
Jesus also said, "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27)
It always takes me awhile to remember this awesome, free gift and these promises when I'm stuck in the zone- some sort of strange fear amnesia, I guess. But I'm always amazed at the peace and clarity of mind that comes when I turn to Jesus. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in the fear zone; I think you will be impressed with the fulfillment process. The Prince of Peace handles that department Himself.
So PEACE (the kind that surpasses all understanding) and my love to you from the NO FEAR zone tonight,