Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No More Fear

The Lord is my light and my salvation,
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life -
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

I'm pretty easily frightened. I don't watch scary movies because they effect me so profusely, so intensely. I remember as a little kid having nightmares from watching Batman. I mean, like the real life Batman where they had words like "POW" and "BANG" whenever Batman or Robin hit someone. I was especially afraid of the Penguin. I remember having a dream about him coming out of our coffee table. I remember being so afraid to go to bed at times that I would just lay awake. Yes, I have had issues with sleep since I was young. My parents did a good job of protecting me, maybe too good of a job. Mom told me that whenever I got scared I could just sing a praise song and then demons would flee because they couldn't be around when God was being praised. That helped. But sometimes I was so afraid I could not move. Fear can be paralyzing.

So, I have made it my goal in life to be fearless. The only thing I want to fear is the Lord. He is the only one powerful enough to fear. Satan tries to dance around and does a pretty good job of lying to me and controlling things around me to make me afraid, but I know that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. I know that the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom. I know that I am up against principalities of darkness and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms but I also know that the same God who caused David to defeat Goliath lives inside of me and can do far more than that.

I hesitate to say this because it is kind of out there. But I feel like once something is said sometimes it brings things into the light and they are not as bad as they seem... You know, like when you see a shadow on the wall and it's scary and then you turn on the light and it turns out it was just a coat rack or something like that. Okay, my greatest fear is that I would be walking down the street by myself and that I would be attacked. So, if I go there in my mind and it is a scary place, (I don't imagine much detail, because that is not the point) I think I would just start praying as loud as I could, calling out the name of Jesus. Whether or not God would choose to save me or not, if I had to live through it or be killed I know that either way I would win. If I lived through it I could praise God that He would allow me to suffer for His name's sake or I could praise God that He would allow me to come home early and be with Him. I could go to the place where there is no more suffering. My time here on earth is very short. Seriously, it's only like 80 years, maybe 90, that's just a breath. What can man do to me? He can kill me. He can hurt me severely. But I have the Rock of eternity to land on.

When evil men came against me to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
Psalm 27:2-3

I know what some of you moms are thinking: I don't care what happens to me, as long as nothing happens to my baby. As I continue to write I realize that me being attacked is not really my WORST fear, it is the attack of my family. I want my little boy to be safe. If anything happened to him I don't know that I could bare it. It's more than just a part of my heart being ripped out. It's like all my heart plus some. I didn't understand this until I became a mom. There is like a mama bear instinct that comes out that says, "you can mess with me all day, but don't mess with my babies." ... I think that is from the Lord. I think He put that there for our survival, you know, if we were indifferent towards our kids we might just leave them on the street somewhere (they can be very frustrating at times). But I also wonder if He put that there so that we could know the pain of His sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.

I have to pause because of the weight of that.

I don't think I could give up my only son so that a whole bunch of sinners: child molesters, liars, thieves, murderers, slanderers, addicts, over-eaters, hypocrites, slothful people, hateful people, angry people, selfish people could be spared from hell. I don't think I could really do that. But the truth is, we are all sinners. We have all committed things that we regret. I am the chief among them, so who am I to point fingers? And the truth is that He is God, He is not man. His thoughts and His ways are higher than my ways. Praise the Lord. The truth is that He sent His only Son to come and be born to a teenager in a barn, to live among sinful, fallen people, to grow up under parents who aren't perfect, to be tempted in the desert for forty days with no food, to preach and to heal the sick and the blind, to be hated among the pharisees, to be plotted against, to have crowds pressing up against him and wanting to just use him, to be rejected in his own home town, to go amongst the marginalized and the poor, to weep for the lost, to raise the dead and then after three years of just pouring himself out to then be mercilessly beaten and crucified. To have his Father whom he had always been close to, have to turn His back on him because of the shame of our sin that was laid on him. It was my sin that held him there, until it was accomplished. His dying breath has brought me life, I know that it is finished.

But the grave couldn't hold him.

Three days he was in the tomb, I'm sure those were dark, frightening days. And then Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave.

We do not serve a god who is dead. All other religions, their leaders are dead or have never been seen. But Jesus was seen by hundreds of people, touched by Thomas (who later was martyred for Christ, I don't think he would have suffered and given his life if it hadn't been true). And he ascended into Heaven.

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