I am pretty tired right now and more than a little thick-headed. It seems I’ve managed to pick up my first cold of the season. I am hopeful that with enough rest (and perhaps a few prayers from those who read my blogs), I will be in the mend by the end of the week.
In the meantime, I have been thinking a lot about fear vs. faith. I love the above saying, because I believe it to be true. Personally, I find it easier to be fearful than bold or full of faith. I know this about myself, and so I am constantly battling my tendency towards fear. I battle it by reminding myself of what the Bible says and what I have experienced of God’s power in my life. I battle it by singing songs of praise and being in community with others who share my faith. I battle of by feeding my faith rather than my fear.
Sometimes the battle against fear goes well and I find myself amazed at the strength God gives me. Other times I find myself feeding my fear, and I need the reminder that there isn’t room for both fear and faith in my mind/heart/spirit.
Church can be tough. I love my church, but we are far from perfect. We make mistakes and we face difficult circumstances.
But we are called to be people of faith not people of fear.
So may you find new ways each day to feed your faith. May you know that there is not room for both to reside in you. May you tap into the Source of all hope and find that through Him your faith is growing and your fear is failing.
When I was 6 years old, I was in a tornado, up at my Grandparents’ cottage north of Thunder Bay. For years and years after that I’ve been pretty leery of severe weather. But somewhere in my late twenties, I suddenly found I wasn’t panicking at the sight of dark thunder heads anymore. Now, I will admit that if the wind starts to whip, I keep an eye on it. I’m not totally over my fear of thunderstorms, but what used to paralyze me no longer does.
That’s kind of neat. I like to think that God has done a lot to heal me of that fear.
These days I enjoy a good storm. I love the sound of the rolling thunder and heavy rain. I love the hiss of car tires as they drive over wet streets. I love the flash of lightening. I love the clean scent of the air after the rain, and the way that the sun shines differently making the world look washed and new.
Sometimes, you need a good storm. The day has been too humid and muggy, the air needs to be cleared. and the storm when it comes brings with it a sense of release and relief. I think it’s the same in life. Things have been a little messy and muggy and humid in my life recently, but I feel like a storm has blown through, and the air is clear again.
I was remarking to a colleague and friend at lunch that April was not a good month. She smiled and said “Yeah, but now it’s May.” And I found myself grinning in response. Yes. It is May. A new month.
The storm has come, and the air is clean. Thank God!
Last night I had the unpleasant experience of nightmares. I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream that didn’t seem so scary when I thought about it the next morning, in full daylight, while wide awake. But in the middle of the night, in a dark and quiet house, while sleep continued to drag at me and I couldn’t fight my way to full consciousness…it was terrifying.
I wonder if that is the way most of our fears work. In the light, when we are thinking clearly, when we are surrounded by others, they aren’t so bad. But get us alone, put us in the dark, take away our clear-headed-ness and it is a whole different story.
I admit, I am sometimes a very timid person, easily struck by fear. And that is one of the many reasons I am so thankful for my faith. Because my faith tells me that I am never alone. I have a world-wide family called the church. I have a Loving Father (God), a constant Teacher (Jesus) and a helpful comforter (the Holy Spirit).
The fears may still come but God answers them with the bold imperative “Fear not!”, and better than that bold imperative is the sentiment that always follows it: “for I Am with you.”
For the follower of Jesus, there is no such thing as alone in the dark. Because we are always bathed in the light of Christ, we are always in touch with the community of the triune (three-in-one) God. That doesn’t mean I will. Ever have another disturbing night like last night. But it does make it so much easier to deal with those nights when they come.