Wow, So often I just marvel at how great God is! Even more amazing is looking back at life experiences and seeing the path that He has brought us down, and the resources He brings into our lives at specific times to grow us spiritually. His timing is always perfect!
When I was in 5th grade I attended a slumber party at a friend's house. They were watching a horror movie--which placed my in the next room with my fingers over my eyes catching bits and pieces of the horrific scenes. I was already a scardey cat. The last thing I needed was fuel for my fear. What followed was years of nightmares, intense fear of irrational things, and many tears and pleas to my parents at bedtime to not make me go it alone. I am sure it was frustrating for my parents as they did not know how to allay my fears. It took me into adulthood to get rid of some of those fears...like the fear of death, bodily harm, etc.
When my first daughter was born I struggled with the intense fear that God would take her from me. It took us six years of marriage to even conceive her, I couldn't imagine God taking her away after all that we went through! It took months of prayer to shake the fear, and the results were less than immediate. I knew that she did not belong to me, but rather to God. I knew that He had a plan for her life regardless of my plans. I just couldn't shake the fear. My prayers sounded like this: "God, I know she is yours, I know you have only entrusted her to me for a time, but I would not want to live without her, so PLEASE watch over her and don't let anything bad happen to her!!" I would love to say that I prayed and "poof" the fear was gone, but it sure didn't happen that way. It was a process. I thought that I had overcome fear, but as it turns out, it only manifested itself in a different form. The enemy is tricky. We need to stay in the Word if we are to outsmart him!
Right now, I am involved in a Beth Moore Bible study that is probing my heart on so many different levels that it is painful, joyful, and refreshing at the same time. I am amazed at what God is showing me through His Word! Our study last night had me broken before God, in tears, and once again, thankful at the same time. Esther is a book of the Bible that I have read before, I know the story, but I had never studied it like this. We are at the pivotal point in the story right now where she has to face her fears and choose between life and death. Right and wrong. Do I trust God? Even if it means horrible consequences? Even if it means death? We would all hope to make the right decisions in such a situation.
One of the things that has been plaguing me recently came to light last night. One of my daughters has "inherited" the fear that I have always struggled under. I couldn't understand her fears. They are not exactly the same type as mine. I am one of those parents that takes every weakness and fault of my children to heart. I often ask myself what I did wrong to cause these bad traits in them. The truth is, I do not cause them, we are all fallen creatures, but it is partly my job to help them overcome them. And if I cannot overcome my own fears, how can I expect my daughter to overcome hers? What a blessed opportunity I had to talk with her on the way home from Bible study last night about the sovereignty of God and human fear! I want to share with you my future strategy for tackling every fear (thanks to Beth Moore)
It is as simple as this:
The study writer urged us not to fill in the blanks right away. Take any situation in your life that you can imagine and place it in the if blank. If we place God in the then blank, we know that everything will be fine in the end. Even if it means losing someone you love. EVEN if it means someone you love not choosing to follow Christ, the greatest heartbreak I can imagine.
It is so easy to say the words "God is in control." It isn't as easy to reconcile a painful loss in our minds when it happens. Do we trust? We know that God wants us to trust Him explicitly. Esther had to make a choice between right and wrong that could have ultimately cost her life. If the king had not accepted her plea and she had died then it would all be part of her story in history. There would have been a purpose for it. God had something different in mind for her, and her life was spared. BUT the story does not always end that way. Sometimes pain, death, or any other horrible thing you might fear is what God has for us. Did you ever think about that? Sometimes that is what it takes for God to fulfill the plan He has for us and others. Are we willing to accept that? I am asking myself: am I willing to suffer for the cause of Christ? Am I willing to trust that God is truly in control NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL THE CIRCUMSTANCES?
"Lord, give me the strength and courage to always stand in the face of fear trusting you fully and completely. Give me the wisdom to help others, through your Word, to trust you. Thank you for your Word. Thank you that the most repeated command from your heavenly armies is FEAR NOT. You know my heart. You know my needs. You always fulfill." AMEN