Monday, June 2, 2008

Fear

I have been working on several mixed-media projects for my Best Friend RT and her two nieces. I finished a book of “heart” scripture for RT and made a collage’ for M, who is graduating from High School. I have also finished a book for H who lives with fear and can, at times, feel paralyzed by it. She is afraid of flying, fearful of the future (the price of rice or gas), whether she will have enough money in the future, a job? So much worry! I can’t even imagine that kind of fear...so I thought I would make her a little book full of scripture she could turn to when she feels fear creeping into her life. She can also record her thoughts and her blessings.FEAR! Does everyone have a secret (or maybe not so secret) fear that plays into who they are? What they will, or will not do? Do my fears paralyze me or propel me forward? Do they prevent me from doing/trying new things? Are they strongholds in my life? Have I missed out on opportunities in my life? Do I talk myself out of “great” experiences and opportunities because I am fearful of not measuring up, not succeeding and more importantly...failing miserably. Yet, I know I have made choices in my life to try and down play those fears. I have chosen to live my life, up to this point, by only undertaking tasks in areas where I know I am gifted, accepting opportunities that play to my strengths. Obviously I only take “risks” when I can predict the outcome!
By living my safe, somewhat “wallflower” type of life-style, I have discovered that if I’m not willing to fail, I’m ultimately choosing not to succeed at anything. All my life I have assumed that I was the only one who had been affected by my decision to not take chances. In the end…I may have regrets of not being involved in something, or I may wish that I would have engaged in this or that. But I had convinced myself that “it’s not hurting me or anyone else.”
But the more that I thought about how fear had incapacitated my life, I began to think about what it had done to me spirituality. I began to wonder…“How many opportunities had God invited me to be a part of that I had blatantly responded by saying, ‘No, God, I won’t do it.” An even scarier question is…“What if my fear has such a stronghold in my life that I will never be who God called and created me to be?” The obvious follow up question then is, “Am I choosing to ignore God’s will for my life because I’m not willing to trust Him fully to equip me to do the things He called me to do?”
I do understand that fear translates to mistrust. By living in a constant state of fear, I am ultimately telling God that I do not trust Him to meet my needs. I don’t trust Him to know what is best for me, and I don’t trust Him to be who He says He is. So for me, I had to ask myself what type of God I was talking about. I am talking about the One who, in Jeremiah 29:11 says that He has, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Does this sound like a God who I can’t trust? One of my favorite scriptures that captures the very heart of God is Psalm 139. I like to meditate on how much God truly cares about me, how intricately He created me. Based on these verses there is no doubt in my mind that the God who created me in His image, created every specific detail of my being, created me for a specific purpose and has a clear-cut plan, or will, for our lives. This is the God who decided the color of eyes I would have, what my laugh would sound like, the things that make us each come alive, and how many hairs are our on our head. He knows the things I will do even before I have a chance to do them. The only problem with becoming who God called me to be and fulfilling the plan that He has for my life is that I have a choice in the matter. I can either accept the invitation to the adventure that God has called me to. Or I can, out of fear, choose not to.
Scriptures to Combat Fear: Psalms 34: 4; Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 41:13; Isaiah 54:14; 2 Cor 7:5; 1 John 4:18; Psalms 23:4

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