Life has a way of creating bumps and fissures along the way, how we respond makes all the difference. As a Christian, and as one who acknowledges that the times we live in are winding down and the trials are intensifying for those who follow Christ, I’m taking today’s entry in a different mode of a sorts than my other posts.
Every day we are bombarded with the news that life on this Earth is ever-changing. As witnessed by the recent events of the past days and months the world is changing drastically compared to the days of when I was a kid. I long for the days of the 80’s when all I had to “worry” about were the Cold War and whether or not I would pass my tests in school. Back then those worries seemed to be important, but those “worries” seem so trivial compared to the present circumstances taking place in the world today.
When I first started writing this entry a couple of days ago I was going to take it into more of an end times type of writing, while that element is still there, I’m taking this in another direction from my original intentions because of the devastating circumstances over in Japan due to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. When disasters of those types occur on this earth it brings feelings of intense fear, especially for those who are experiencing the disaster, but also in the hearts and minds of those of us who are separated physically from the event. For those of us not physically there our two immediate reactions are shock and disbelief, but then fear emerges. Fear has a way of corrupting our perceptions, but fear also has a helpful quality in the sense of keeping us away from something that might harms us (like our knowledge that a flaming hot surface can burn, keeping us from touching it).
Fear can rob us of our peace and get us off the path of our journey that God has laid out for us. As in the case of disasters, whether man-made or God allowed, fear can creep in or rush over to paralyze us until we are no longer useful to ourselves or to others. That is fear allowed to go too far. But there is a way to prepare for the fear that wishes to ensnare us and how we handle fear is up to us.
On the wall of our home school room I have a poster hanging. On the poster is a picture of a crashing wave and above and below are the words “FEAR NOT”, and in the midst of the wave the words of Psalms 46:1-3 are printed. It reads: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give away and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Simply put we have our very own fear terminator; God! Even when the evidence around us tells us that we should be fearful, God is there. With Him, our shelter can be found and our strength can be realized to rise up over adversity. He is there, even when we do not feel Him. He only asks us to place our trust in Him, and not in our circumstances.
With all the turmoil in the Middle East, the craziness of what is happening on our own soil here in the USA, and as almost daily we hear of some disaster that has taken lives from across the world, God is still there waiting for us to trust Him as our refuge and strength. He doesn’t say that He might be our refuge and strength, but the verb ‘is’ (present tense) is used to tell us that He IS our refuge and strength; right here, right now and always. It is a constant act of our will to believe, even when in the midst of what we see, says something completely different. When fear takes hold, meaning, we believe it over God, we are telling God that we don’t believe Him. (I know, tough words and I’m talking to myself also in what I’m writing.)
We are living in the last days, but we are to FEAR NOT! We have been given knowledge in Scripture as to what is coming, but we should not fear it. Christ has not given us a spirit of fear, but of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 love and power, too) and He has left us His peace (John 14:27). May you go with a heart filled with His peace, His love, His power and His encompassing protection.