Sunday, April 24, 2011
I find it delightfully ironic and utterly amazing that of all people, I'm writing on the topic of an absence of fear. To understand why this is so precious, you would have to know a bit of my history, which if you've read other entries on my blog, you probably already do. Fear, specifically, my own, is what led me straight into the arms of Jesus. Though a number of other factors played a part, it was most definitely fear that played the lead role. It was the prima donna of my life's opera, singing beautifully into the most vulnerable depths of my mind, body, spirit, and soul. I was her (fear's) captivated audience as well as her supportive stage. I sat mesmerized in the front row seat while I simultaneously acted as the platform under which she sang into my life. From each waking hour to those spent in combative sleep, we never parted ways. My prima donna was the devil in disguise, and I had been taken in. "Why make something as ugly as fear sound beautiful?" you may wonder. There's nothing beautiful about the debilitating effects of such a painful emotion, but the artwork that went into Satan's crafty strokes would be exquisite if it wasn't so evil. The true beauty of it all? In my own life, Satan clothed himself in fear, meant to take me to the pits of a fiery hell, but God caused it to be the very thing that saved me, for without it I wouldn't have sought His face. When I look back, how can I regret the one thing that led me straight to God? Now that is beautiful.
With what the devil meant to hurt me, God used to bless me. Through a once crippling fear, I have come to know a most indescribable and amazing love. My fears weren't abandoned over night. Much like my son, they were abandoned cautiously and ever so slowly. Learning to trust God was actually more challenging than continuing to trust the devil. Why? Because Satan sings to us from an opera stage and has himself beautifully disguised so that he can sing into our lives the very melody that grips us the most tightly. For me, it was fear and I knew it far better than I knew God, so better to cling to the known rather than the unknown, right? Wrong. Maybe what Satan uses to keep you close isn't anxiety; maybe it's drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, or anger. Maybe it's something else. Whatever it is, you're not alone. Throughout the bible we are told many times not to fear (Isaiah 35:4, 41:10, 41:13; Hebrews 13:6, and many more) because God is with us, yet we're often plagued by fear when we're faced with abandoning something in our lives that requires trusting Jesus instead. I've been in that place and it never gets more comfortable; it becomes disabling. We need to cautiously step out and grab the Lord's hand; He wont let us go.
Once Ashton felt the sting of my first attempt at pulling his tooth, he closed his mouth for over a week, unwilling to let me try again. Last night, Sam and I worked together to ease him into the process yet again. As I gently massaged his gums, he gradually opened his mouth wide enough for me to get a firm grip on his tiny and barely rooted tooth. With a gentle tug, I pulled it from its last clinging root and we slid it under his pillow in wait for a tooth fairy's reward. I wonder how many times over the years I responded to God with a similar closed heart. If I stepped out and felt pain, did I quickly retreat back into the clutches of Satan? I did. Interestingly, we must go through fear to have no fear. It's scary to put our faith and trust in God, but having been on the other side, I assure you - it's far scarier not to. Whatever you're facing today, cautiously step out and abandon your fear. Put down what's holding you captive and pick up a cross - it's there as much for you as it was for me. Have no fear as you put your trust in God! Have a spectacular day everyone!
Let your chains be broken by putting full and complete trust in God! He will never leave you or forsake you! (Hebrews 13:5)
Image taken from www.swordinfire.blogspot.com