Tag: fear

Fear? Remember you are never alone.

PREPARATION

What were you afraid of as a child? What are you afraid of now? What’s different?

Remember that monster in the closet? It helped to turn on the light and open the door… nothing! Fear relented. Now, we have instant global information and fear is everywhere. Watch News reports for very long and you will feel it. Disaster and catastrophe are only moments away. It seems that broadcast News thrives on stirring up panic and fear mongering.

So much energy is spent on what horrible things “might” happen or “could” happen in the coming tsunami, or hurricane, or tornado, or flood, or earthquake, or avalanche, or forest fire, or H1N1, or economic meltdown, or radiation cloud… you get the picture. The goal is to provide information that helps, but too many times the information takes on a negative life of its own.

During the days since the Earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it seems there has been more focus on what might happen here, than on how the people of Japan are reaching out to each other and finding hope in spite of the dire conditions. We have heard far more information about radiation that “might” reach California than we have heard about freezing people transformed into everyday heroes…heroes who are finding peace and survival in each other.

The news story for us: Live in fear.

Fear is inescapable. It’s part of life, but the real news is that you don’t have to call it home.

There are too many adults still carrying around their childhood fears. Without help, they will stay trapped, arrested, and imprisoned. Without asking permission, fear has a way of oozing into attitudes and personalities. Pessimists, cynics, controllers, egotists, racists, bullies,  are still bound, tethered, confined by oozing fear.

But, Jesus came to release the captive and that begins with our fears. HIS promise rings loud and clear. “I will never leave you.” Smack-dab in the middle of terror, Jesus whispers, “Stay close, we can do this together.”  God knows how to turn the “danger hour” into an adventure in courage. HE doesn’t take away the fear, HE uses it as an invitation to see the invisible and invade the impossible.

When Jesus asked his disciples about their fear, it was a much deeper question than, “Are you afraid of that?” It was, “Why are you still living in the prison of fear? I’m right here! There is so much more, turn loose, get out of the boat, and trust me.”

Central to our faith is the belief that Jesus is HERE, Now!…we are never alone. It’s our faith choice: Live like God keeps HIS promises, or ooze fear.

I have learned a secret: Fear doesn’t just limit faith, it totally destroys it.

INSPIRATION

I was so proud of her. She was the top swimmer in her group.

(It was intensely personal for me: I was afraid of the water when I was her age. I had to be rescued during my swimming test and the fear of getting in water over my head stayed with me till high school. It was then that I joined the swim team and eventually become a life guard.)

Parents were crowded around the pool with cameras poised. It was the first of two TEST days. The instructor called her name, “Julie Rose!”

Julie just stood there. Her name was called again, and this time she began crying, screaming actually, “No, I’m not doing it. No, No!”

After what seemed like  hours of crying protests, she walked over to the wall and sat down.

How could this be happening? Yesterday, in practice, she was the only one who did it. Could it be a defective “swimming test” gene that she inherited from me?

When class was over, I cautiously walked over and picked up her bag. She grabbed her towel and heads down we made our way to the car. Once inside I said, “Wow, what was happening out there?”

She looked up, eyes still red from the tears, “Dad, she said she would be in the deep water. She wasn’t in the water at all. If she would have been in the water I would have been fine… she said she would be there. She wasn’t there.”

Those words changed everything.

Next day was the final TEST. We got there early enough for me to have a short talk with the teacher. Before I finished my well-rehearsed sentence, she gasps, “Oh, I’m so worry, Julie is exactly right. That’s what I told them all. I’ll be in the water this time.”

She was, and Julie was the star. I forgot the defective gene thing.

MOTIVATION

Jesus is always in the deep. HE is there before we get there.

Ask a friend to lunch this week and begin your conversation by confessing a childhood fear. Tell about the person who helped you deal with it.

Ask, “How about you?”

Before you leave say, “You know, I’ve had to face some pretty big fears in my adult years, too. I’m blessed, Jesus has always been right there in the deep. It seems the bigger the fear the deeper the faith.” Thanks for listening.

Now, during the rest of the week…look for someone to ask, “Wow, what was happening out there?”

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March 21, 2011 | 1 Comment More