I’ve always promised to be real here, and the only way to do that is to be honest…I have a fear problem, and I’m becoming convinced that I am not alone. There are times when I think it’s just me. Why does everyone else walk around getting their groceries and carpooling their kids with smiles of peace on their faces; and I’m walking about with a knot in my stomach or anxiety burning in my chest? But the more I talk with other women, the more open I am, the more I am learning that a lot of people have a fear problem. A lot of mothers in particular. Maybe a better way to put it is, I have a “what if” problem. I am noticing a pattern in this for me, and I can’t help but think back to our Moses Study. I literally am the doubting, fearing, wandering Israelite that Moses was leading around the desert. I am that enslaved and hopeless Israelite that was rescued by her Redeemer, yet still faces each new struggle with the fear of one that has not been redeemed. Well of course I am, we all are (or at the very least have been at some time), that was the point of the study. It didn’t matter how many miracles God performed on behalf of his children, it didn’t matter how many times He delivered them from their enemy, His children still doubted and feared…and so do we. We are meant for something greater though. We were not created for fear and wandering, but for a glorious promise land. But to enter it, we must drop the baggage of fear at the gate. Fear and doubt kept the Israelites out of their Promise Land, and you better believe it will keep us out of ours.
I took this picture in my backyard a few weeks ago early one morning. My world is loud and busy and usually chaotic, so for me, I genuinely long for moments of quiet when I can listen for the Lord’s voice. I am particularly in awe of those quiet times that come accompanied by dramatic evidence of the Lord’s sovereignty over my life, over my struggles. This particular morning was one of them. I sat alone in my backyard, barely able to take a breath; and watched what seem to be the Lord’s presence wake up the earth and move majestically and mysteriously over the ground. As the sun rose, and His glory seemed to hover, I thought of the awesome power of God. I thought of the beginning, when the world was formless and empty, but His hovering Spirit brought life. I thought about Moses and the Israelites trembling at the bottom of the mountain where the Lord descended. I thought of the Glory of the Lord that settled in over the tabernacle. It was a great cloud of smoke by day and fire by night. That’s great might and majesty! As my mind swirled with examples of God’s great power, 1 Corinthians 3:16 slapped me in the face that morning: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you?” It was as if God was asking me, “What are you afraid of?” Have you forgotten my power? Do you not know what I can do?” Or even further “Do you not know where I, in all my power and might, dwell?”
My sweet Anna told me the other day while I dumped my heavy heart on her during a jog, that I needed to stop fearing and claim the authority that I have in Christ. She quickly rattled off Philippians 4, reminding me that “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” She said “you have power, claim it!” How true are her words. All that fire, smoke, power, might and sovereignty of the Lord’s spirit, dwells in little, fearful me…and you. We are the Almighty’s temple. We as God’s children have been given victory over all our struggles and fears because of Christ; yet we cower in the corner of our lives fearing a storm in the distance. Oh us of little faith.
And speaking of storms, Peter experienced one that is worth mentioning here:
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward 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: 25-31)
And so He asks you and me the same thing today. It seems that what I have is a faith problem, not so much a fear problem. How about you? Your Redeemer is near and dwells among you, stop your fearing my friend.
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