Friday, May 7, 2010

Fearless

www.maxlucado.comToday is a beautiful Spring day.  A little warmer than I'd like, but the sky is robin egg blue, and my flowers are blooming on my patio, so I'm not complaining.  The last few days have been both peaceful contentment, and utter mind blowing disappointment.  Hard to believe two different adjectives can share the same sentence much less the same person.  I've been reading a book named Fearless by Max Lucado.  The first 3 chapters have just transformed me.  Chapter 1 is the Villagers of Stiltsville (which talks about the fear of not mattering).  That's a big one for me.  The next chapter is "God's Ticked off at Me" (which explains the fear of disappointing God).  The last chapter I read is "Woe, be Gone" (the fear of running out).  He says "fear corrodes our confidence in God's goodness."  Fear feels awful; it drains us of contentment, and makes us want to curl up in a little ball and pull the covers over our head.  I had an experience of fear this week.  Not your typical fear, like a sickness or job loss, or assault; however it was fear none-the-less.  I was hurt by words that someone said, and I had a choice to let it go and pretend it didn't happen, or take a stand and confront it.  This is something that has been going on for a long time, and I just realized that if I keep pretending like it doesn't bother me, then I'm enabling that person to continue the abuse.  The fear came from knowing that this is a person I love and by confronting them, there may be hurt and pain.  It is one thing for me to take the hurt, but to take the risk of bringing it on to someone I love stopped me cold.  I have battled over the last 48 hours about how to say "please quit treating me like a child, and trying to control my life" in a nice way, and possibly have to deal with the backlash, or just let the cycle continue and have resentment and bitterness start to build.  "When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god." (ML) "We fear coming and going and no one knowing." (Village of Stiltsville, ML)  I love that story of the Villagers of Stilltsville.  Worry is the darkroom where negatives become glossy prints. (ML)  Worry stoppers are Pray first:  Inoculate yourself inwardly to face your fears outwardly...1 Peter 5:7.  Slow down:  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently on Him (Ps 37.7).  Act on it:  Be a worry-slapper.  When a concern pops up its ugly head, deal with it immediately; don't ponder it.  Compile a worry-list:  How many of them came true?.  Evaluate your worry categories:  Pray specifically for each one.  Focus on today:  God promised to meet daily needs; not weekly, monthly or annually.  Let God be enough!  That's my favorite.  Matt 6:32.  Seek first His kingdom, and guess what?  You'll find it.  Storms prompt us to take unprecedented journeys.  Its in the storms that Jesus does His finest work.  We are not to be naive or ignorant or oblivious to the challenges of life. But... we can counterbalance them with keeping our eyes on God's accomplishments.  Do whatever it takes to keep our eyes on Jesus.  C.S. Lewis wrote these words:  "Faith...is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.  For moods will change whatever view your reason takes."  Feed your fears and your faith will starve. Feed your faith and your fears will. (ML)  Storms are not an option, but fear is. (ML)  Through the storms, the boat rocks and we get thrown from side to side; water gets on board and we feel as though we're drowning.  Every time your little ship starts to move out into the open sea and away from the shore, there is a snap, and you realize that something is holding your little ship.  You remember that there is an anchor, and it has held you and kept you.  It didn't stop the storm from battering you and the winds from blowing and tossing you... but it held you within the confines of safety.  This may have been your first raging storm; but it wasn't His.  So after being inspired by my daily devotions on Fearless-ness, I still had a decision to make.  Do something?  Or do nothing?  With God's help, I prayed, and did something.  We'll see how it goes.  God is in control and my eyes are focused on Him.

I've attached the link to Max Lucado's website where I get so much of my inspiration.  Please look at and enjoy.  www.maxlucado.com

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