12.06.2015

When Fear Sets In


I have a confession to make, I have been afraid. I know this may sound silly. We have all experienced fear...sometimes paralyzing fear. Fear is part of being human but fear is something I want less of as a God-loving Christian and remember, my power word for this year was COURAGE. How ironic that at the end of the year I am writing a post on fear. God is marvelous because I do see Him at work in all of this.

The San Bernardino shootings struck me at a cord a bit too close for comfort. When my phone received the alert my heart sunk and as I texted my co-worker and close friend the response what that the location was close to where her brother is. Once again too close for comfort. Then I found it was at a facility that serves those with special needs and that too close for comfort began to feel like the carpet being pulled out from under my feet. My heart broke for those affected and I cried on the way home as I heard reports and tried to comprehend the why and what would drive people to violence and then it hit me. Violence can happen ANYWHERE and I was getting close to running the Honolulu Marathon. I got scared and questioned, "Should I?" Once again I texted my co-worker only for her to say, "YES!"

But things didn't become peachy instantly. Just last night I had a bad dream in which I firsthand was experiencing terrorism and by God's grace, we were not harmed...just felt it outside our doors very close as we prayed for protection of all. And then I woke up shaken once again asking, "Should I run? Is this a sign I am not to race? Am I in danger? What about my family?"

The thing is, I will be called home exactly when God calls me home and my life, that of my husband, and that of my daughter are all in God's more than capable hands. On the first day of fear I was comforted by this verse...

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are 
with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
~ Psalm 23:4

It immediately reminded me that I am not to react to fear but to respond trusting my Lord and having faith. Hiding under a rock the rest of my life would not do anyone any good and definitely sets the wrong example for darling daughter. Still, a few days later the dream shook my foundation and faith a wee bit. I became doubtful.

"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water
 and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning
to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand
and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 
~ Matthew 14:29-31

Good question, isn't it? Why am I letting fear, which comes from the devil, cause me to doubt? Why not have confidence in the Lord and safety along the race course? Why not have faith?

Because bad dreams can lead to doubt but God is always at work reminding me to have faith. And as I discussed my recent lack of courage with another good friend, my faith began to grow. That is why I LOVE having sisters in Christ...we support one another and lift each other up! And my bible study led me to this verse...

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,
so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 
For our struggle is not against flesh and bone, but against the rulers, against 
the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual 
forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God,
 so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, 
and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth 
buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can 
extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet 
of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
~Ephesians 6:10-17

So where do I stand now? Stronger in faith and more confident that God is by my side...each and every day. I will fear no harm knowing He loves and cares for me and frankly, I am beginning to grin ear to ear because pre-marathon jitters are not new to me. They happen each and every time. This time they are just testing my faith and you know what? That makes me a stronger believer!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the struggles in life as through these challenges, I grow closer to God.

5 comments:

  1. Lovely, thoughtful posting. Be strong and He will always be your side. Be scared and forget not that He will always be by your side. I just went through a rather taxing surgery that has and will change everything about how I live forever. But when I made that decision months ago I asked Him if it would be OK for me to make that choice and His answer was yes, I will always be by your side. I look forward to you racing as that will be on the backburner for a couple more months for me. Aloha my beautiful friend.

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    1. Prayers for a speedy recovery from your surgery and that God heals your body and gives you strength.

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  2. My brother and his wife were both within a couple of blocks from the initial massacre and the ensuing shootout.They were not together but both impacted.Scary and mind numbing. So much more I could say but... stay strong in your faith and KNOW that you will face and see what is meant for you.

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    1. How scary Elle and I pray they are both doing well and recovering from the impact they faced. Thank you for your vote of confidence and support.

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  3. My brother and his wife were both within a couple of blocks from the initial massacre and the ensuing shootout.They were not together but both impacted.Scary and mind numbing. So much more I could say but... stay strong in your faith and KNOW that you will face and see what is meant for you.

    ReplyDelete

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