Can you remember a time when you were very, very afraid?
This is the question that I asked my husband some years ago. The imagery of his answer has remained with me ever since:
He was small: three or four years old. It was the middle of the night. He remembers clearly sitting on his mother’s lap, with her arms around him…Her presence and quiet reassurance allowed his fear to eventually dissipate. His trust in her was absolute.
This picture of a child sitting in its mother’s lap is something I can relate – especially if I visualise myself sitting on God’s lap with my own fears.
“There is no fear in love. But love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18)
In 2006, at the lowest point of my journey with depression, I remember fearing life itself… In my darkest hour, I reasoned that death would be an easier choice. My God, faithfully, brought me through that dark time of my life – something I will always be so thankful for.
Jesus identifies with this kind of fear. He also had His darkest hour – in the garden of Gethsemane – just before facing his horrifying crucifixion. It was during this moment, that He resorted to prayer:
“Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little further, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” (Matt 26:38.39 NIV)
Having studied the bible this year, I have come across numerous passages which deal with fear. Yes, a healthy fear of our God is very wise (Job 28:28); but this kind of fear is a respecting, reverent fear of God. It’s describes the time that we stop and consider, in awe, God’s immense majesty and power. This is, indeed, the beginning of wisdom – when we know that everything – even our fears - is under His control.
In contrast, however, I am talking about the kind of fear which is crippling and which hinders our lives. What are we afraid of? Is it the unknown? Is it because we are scared of being harmed in some way? Are we scared of what others think? Or is it financial fear? Abandonment? Physical threat? Illness? Politics? For our faith? All these fears stem from past experiences we have had in our lives. Dwelling on these experience have fueled them
It reasons therefore, that the more we experience Christ in our lives, the less fearful we will be. If we focus on Christ and pretend that we are sitting in His lap, sharing our fears with Him and focus on the LOVE and protection which He offers us, then surely our fears will dissipate?
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Gen 15:1) It’s not fear that God promises us, but great REWARD!
“...for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:6-8 ) (English Standard Version Anglicised)
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you that we can come to you with our fears.
Please help us and grant us the strength to face those things that we fear.
You are our shield, Lord.
We love you.
Have a happy day, dear friends...and celebrate this life that God has given us