What is it about the word “fear” that makes me slightly squeamish? Not the kind of fear where I’m scared of the dark or the boogie man in the closet or even worse, under my bed. But fear in a bigger, broader sense. Adult-sized fear. The word has taken on new meanings for me as I’ve aged and it’s been mulling around in my over-crowded brain the past few days.
This past week has been beautiful. Getting intentional about my time with Jesus in the morning before the day breaks…and literally keeping my day from breaking. One week of routine, determined bible study has already had significant impact on my life.
God has shown up in BIG ways. God-sized ways.
There have been answers to prayer that could only come from Him.
Like an angel from out of the blue mailing me a check from her non-profit ministry to pay my conference tuition and hotel expenses to explore these “writing skills” further because she feels I have a gift she wants me to use and grow for God’s glory. Yeah, that was BIG. I cried for hours (days…) over that one. Crying now.
And then there was this little idea of seeing if anyone would maybe like to join me in reading through the Bible in a year. And now we have an on-line group of 11 women intricately woven together by God to start this journey together. Yeah, that happened this week. More happy tears.
And then there was finding this sister in Christ that will be exploring a new ministry opportunity with me and finding out we have a lot more in common than we could ever have known. And maybe God put us together for that reason more than the ministry. Remains to be seen. Yeah, that happened this week, too. Joyful sobs at this point.
I don’t remember a week in my life with so many praises in so little time. Really, this has been a BIG week for me. For God in me.
So where is this fear that I started to talk about? What does fear have to do with any of this? The question is more so what does fear NOT have to do with any of this.
I’m just naturally a fearful person. I worry. I fret. I fear. I fear I may fail. Because I have.
I fear I may not have what it takes to live up to what people “think” I am or have or could be. Because I’ve let people down before. I’ve let myself down before. I’ve let God down before. A lot. Even this week. Even today. Even in the last hour.
I fear things like my kids will not be normal or godly or social or smart. Because I am responsible for them and I really don’t know what I’m doing at all when it comes to this motherhood gig. I fear I’ll mess them up forever. Maybe I already have.
And then reading this week in Mark Chapter 11, this idea of fear rang loud to me in other ways. I scribbled these notes after reading…
FEAR: Scribes hated Jesus out of fear.
Fear drives us to sin.
Fear blinds to the truth.
Fear keeps God’s will from being fulfilled.
Fear kept the scribes from knowing and believing who Jesus was. The one they had spent their whole life waiting for was right before their eyes…and they rejected Him out of fear.
Fear distorts the truth.
Fear brings out the ugly in people. In ME.
There it is. The ugly truth about fear. All wrapped up in one little chapter of God’s word. And no matter how much good God does in our lives, how many prayers He answers, how many BLESSINGS he bestows, we are still prone to fear. It’s just our nature. Well, I can only speak for self. Fear is in my nature. If it’s not in yours, then give God a little extra praise today. And if it is, give God a little more credit.
That’s on my list of things to do. Give God more credit. He deserves it. I believe He would even appreciate it.
Fear intimidates, immobilizes and paralyzes.
Grace assures, encourages and releases.
If you are living in Grace today, claim it. I plan to.
Well, I’ll try harder. And of course I’ll be covered in grace when I fail. And I will. But that’s not my focus.
I will focus on what God has done. Focus on what God has proven He can do and will do. And rest on the promise He will continue to do. Remembering, “All things work to good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.
That life verse of mine again. It just speaks to me. Often. Let it speak to you.
And be free of the fear. Give God the credit that is His. Claim the Grace that is yours. And live in it.