Fear Not

FTI Fear not quote pic

Fear not. Fear not. Fear not. This is what the Lord keeps saying to me. However, to say yesterday was a distressing day is an understatement. There were multiple conversations with doctors, by phone and in person, with me asking as many questions as I could to help me decide whether to pull the plug or not on my next recommended surgery…which happens to be today.

Did I let fear overwhelm me? Yes. In a major way.

But, as God does, He spoke again. I came home and just wanted to collapse from the weight of it all. But before I settled into the couch, I picked up the open Bible on the table nearby and settled into His word.

I had it opened to the Psalms but there is a devotional text in this particular Bible that had a quote from Isaiah which seems to be finding it’s way to me through various sources. My eyes landed on this:

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

So, I’m holding onto His hand today and trusting He will help me. If you are going through a trial, this is for you too. God always keeps His promises.

Here’s one of those ways God sent this message to me. This video teaching from Andy Stanley is worth a watch.

 

For When You Really Just Want To Run and Hide

Cross and Verse Hiding Place

On days when the enemy looms large

and you’re feeling small;

when it seems as if just staying alive

will take every last ounce of strength you have,

DON’T GIVE UP!

Keep moving.

Keep believing.

Because Jesus has made a way of escape.

Through a cross of wood, cut out of a tree,

He carved out hope.

And when it came to securing our freedom,

He left no stone unturned.

Now, the talons of fear cannot touch us

because the enemy has been defeated.

And we rest in the heart of the One who is our shelter.

Our safe haven.

Our salvation.

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The video below isn’t so much about faith, but it inspired me to write this post.

Let me know if it inspires you too.

How to Be Static-Free

This is me in winter…

Does anyone else get this way?

It’s the one thing about this time of year that really annoys me.

That’s because it hurts, and I don’t like pain!

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about yet, I have two words for you.

STATIC ELECTRICITY

It gets so bad that, basically, I approach touching just about anything with trepidation because I know the effect could very well be a hair-raising experience.

Thank God for Static Guard!

I realize the little guy in the photo doesn’t have this issue; it’s part of his natural charm. But seeing it made me smile and it also got me thinking about spiritual static.

Sometimes life can give us a jolt. Unforeseen circumstances can be a shock to the system. If we’re not careful, fear can attach itself to us and become our pavlovian response to everything.

But we can’t live in a protective bubble forever.
(Trust me, I’ve tried.)

The only solution when we get zapped by life is to zap back! To remember that we have the power of God on our side, and that the way to keep fear from sticking to us is by clinging to His promises.

Here are a few to meditate on from the Psalms:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.”
Psalm 121:7-8

There’s peace of mind knowing that, no matter what we encounter today, God is “our ever-present help.”

With Him by our side, we can be static-free!

Where Brave Is Born

FTI Faith WaterfallI’ve never had a brave heart. Maybe that’s why I married someone who does. Someone who reminds me that life is an adventure and it’s okay to take a risk now and then.

And I don’t think it’s because he never gets scared. I just think that instead of running away, which is what I’m prone to do, he runs straight ahead without blinking.

That’s what brave people do. They don’t shrink back from fear. They stare it down and keep moving forward.

Recently, he sent me this quote:

“To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway…You’ve got to get yourself moving. The only way to break the cycle is to face your fear and take action – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that action might seem. To get over fear, you’ve got to get started.

                                     John Maxwell – Failing Forward

I think there’s something to that. Just the act of moving toward something is empowering. It made me think of that time we visited this gorgeous waterfall that you could actually walk behind. As usual I followed my fearless leader and the two of us experienced something pretty cool.  Literally! The mist coming off the falls was invigorating, to say the least. 🙂

From that vantage point, a rushing river can merge with your rushing adrenaline until you feel like you are diving headfirst over that mountain yourself. It was awe-inspiring!

DSCN0492

You can’t really see it but, towards the end of this short video I captured below, some other people were approaching the entrance to the falls. That’s as far as they got. Two of the ladies appeared too frightened to continue. So they turned back.

Waterfall Clip (For full screen, click double arrows at bottom right of video screen – use ESC button on your keyboard to return to small screen)

Here’s the thing, and I’m just beginning to get this.  Before you start moving, you have to start believing. There has to be a brain shift – a moment when you believe that there is something better waiting ahead.

And when we get there, on the other side of that fear, we start to think that anything is possible. We begin to take baby steps on the stomping grounds of the saints who’ve gone before us.

If we could hear them now, I think they’d be urging us to keep moving forward. Because what lies ahead is so much better. There, faith is formed in the unseen hand of God. And when we let go of fear and take hold of His hand instead, we move closer to that place – the hope of saints – the home of heroes.

That’s where brave is born. And it’s where our life begins.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

 

Are You Being Bullied by Regret?

FTI pin Today Mother Teresa

Regret is like a bully on the playground of our minds.

He’s nasty and mean, and he doesn’t fight fair.

He sneaks up behind you, tripping you up with a memory from your unforgotten past.

He kicks you when you’re down, spitting out insults. He calls you names like “worthless” and “stupid” and tells you that “you will never change” and “there is no hope for you.”

I’ve dealt with this issue a lot in my life and I’ve come to realize that the reason regret holds such power over us is that it is often laced with truth.

We surely have made mistakes. We may have taken a wrong turn and allowed our failures to lead us down a dead-end road.

Years pass. And there we stand, in some dreary and dark place we’d rather not be, rehearsing our guilt in slow motion and going nowhere fast.

But there is a way out, a way through, a way to get past the past and move forward into the future.

It’s the way of forgiveness.

We must receive God’s forgiveness. Then we must give ourselves that same gift.

Because when we begin to forgive ourselves, we will stop the momentum of regret. We’ll find the strength to stand up to that bully.

We may walk away with some scuffs and bruises, but we will be okay. We will be free!

This post from Jon Acuff puts a humorous spin on this topic. Maybe it will encourage you as it did me.

Be blessed!