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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

No More Fear?

Five months since I have blogged.  Five months since I posted about feeling stuck. Five months in which I remained stuck. Just in the past week or so have I dared to hope that, maybe, I'm starting to come unstuck. Not by any act of mine, but simply by the grace of God.

I struggle with fear and worry. Every day I wonder and worry about someone I love dying. About the new over-forty-year-old body ache that surely signifies cancer or some other dread disease. About a blizzard or tornado, depending on the season. Every time I fly I imagine that I could crash. Every time my husband drives I imagine he could crash. And, all these things could happen.

Tuesday I was reading in the Bible  about the time when the disciples were in a boat with Jesus:  
 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”  And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:24-27)
Jesus asks the disciples why they are afraid. I would think it would be obvious: They're in a boat, it's storming, and the boat is being swamped. Which means, to me, that if I were there I would be afraid that the boat is going to sink. Plus, Jesus, the one Whom they look to for help was asleep. Then Jesus tells them they don't have much faith. In the same account as told in Luke 8, verse 25 reports that Jesus asks them, "Where is your faith?" I've been thinking about that question for the past few days.

It seems as if Jesus is saying that if they had faith, they wouldn't fear. Even with the waves crashing, even with the water threatening to sink the boat, they should not be afraid. Why? I went on a search through the New Testament to find the people who were commended for their faith. On the list were the Roman Centurion whose daughter is healed, the friends of the paralyzed man who lowered him through the roof to see Jesus, the bleeding woman who touched Jesus' hem, the Canaanite woman who sought healing for her daughter, the blind beggar who cries out to Jesus, and the tenth leper who returns to give thanks. Each of these were people I found who had direct dealings with Jesus.

What did they have in common? They sought out Jesus and believed that He could help them. Yet, so did the disciples. The disciples also went to Jesus and  asked Him for help. I wonder if (as it always is) it was a difference in what was in each person's heart. Did the disciples really believe that Jesus could help them? Were they annoyed with him for being asleep? Did they truly believe (as they soon learned) that Jesus could still the very winds and waves that were threatening to capsize them? Where had they placed their faith?

How much better would my life be if I weren't fearful and worried, especially over things that haven't even happened? Why can I choose not to fear? Over and over I return to the basic elements of Christianity. I can choose not to fear because Jesus is with me. Nothing that I will face, should my worst imaginings come to pass, will be bigger than God's power and grace. I need to put my faith, my confidence, and my assurance in the person of Jesus--the Jesus who stilled those waves, healed those people, and rose victorious from that grave.

Hebrews 2: 14-15 says this:
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Look at that last phrase again: "...those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." I have been a slave to the fear of death. I do not have to be. Through Jesus' resurrection, I have been set free from this fear. I will be with Jesus when I die. The people I love who follow and believe Jesus, I will see again in eternity. I don't need to be enslaved. I am not enslaved.

The Message paraphrase of Hebrews 2:14-15 puts it like this:
Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.
I no longer need to be scared to death of death. I no longer need to fear. Come what may, Jesus is in the boat with me. I pray that God will show me how to find my faith and abandon fear.


6 comments:

  1. Have you read This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti?
    -Jim H

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  2. I have! What did you think of it?

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  3. As simplistic as was the style, the message was very insightful. Satan and his demons are very active. The good news is that they can be cast out, simply by invoking the name of Jesus Christ.

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  4. Very well written Edna, well done you! I don't know if this will help, but I focus on what I do have, at this very moment in time. Also, I look back on how many decades I have lived and God has never let me down yet regardless of what I have been through, I have made it because He made sure I did :) I have never been homeless (it has been close though), I have never been hungry (that was close too) and all the other many things life throws at us. But it was all 'close' but never happened. God's care and protection I am sure is beyond anything we comprehend. Whatever happens, it will be ok :)

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    1. Thanks :-)! It does encourage me to see how God has been faithful to others (and to myself). I just need to stop worrying and trust Him!

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  5. Nice digging, Edna. I can tell you really wrestled with this. May God increase your comfort as you grow in faith.

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