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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scared out of your mind????

What are you facing today?  Are you afraid of anything in your life?  If you're normal.  Don't let pious Christians make you think that "good" Christians aren't afraid.  Anyone - Christian or not - will be afraid of the unknown.  Some people choose not to share their fear.  Some people think that if you ignore it and don't talk about it that somehow that summons up the power of God and takes care of the problem.  Some people shake with fear on the inside while putting on a smiley face mask for the outside.

With Ron losing his job and me going through reconstructive foot surgery, I know how fear feels.  Today I had a meltdown.  There has just been too much coming too fast.  I sat with my foot up in the air, crying from the pain and wondering what the future holds.

Several years ago I had the great privilege to listen to Dr. Dick Foth at a writer's conference.  I purchased CD's of the 5 services he did.  I've listened to those services many times and today I felt led to listen to session #3.  God is truly wonderful when he whispers instructions in your ears.  With tears flowing down my cheeks Dr. Foth told about the fear he experienced when he was told he had cancer.  The nurse called him when he was out of town and told him what he had (cancer) but not how bad or what the procedure would be.  "For four days I was gripped by fear.  The fear of the unknown was so disconcerting that it almost paralyzed me for four days."  He is now without cancer but for those four days he was filled with fear.

Dr. Foth continued..."I was surprised by it because I'm not genuinely a fearful person, but fear showed up.  It's not supposed to.  I've got like college degrees and I've studied and spent a lot of money for it.  One should be free from fear when you've studied and paid a lot of money for it.  Clearly that wasn't working.  And then of course I had been following Jesus for like 50 years so that should take care of it right there.  But for some reason it wasn't taking care of it for those four days so then guilt - its ugly twin showed up.  Now I was being tag teamed by guilt and fear.  Have any of you been there?  Do you know how that feels?"

Thank God for this message.  I identified and for one hour Dr. Foth was able to touch the deepest part of my soul.  His humor and his compassion soothed me.  There were two beautiful sections that really helped.  I hope they will help you today.

He quoted Joshua 1:6 with the following:

"I wondered, what does God say?  Are there people in the Bible that loved God and were scared?  And I started looking and what do you know....If you have your Bible turn to Joshua 1:6 .....Joshua is the go to guy.  Moses has led them for all these years and Joshua is the person who is getting the hand off......He's the one who's not scared......In 1:6 listen how he talks to Joshua.  Be strong and courageous because you will courageous....then you will be prosperous....He just keeps saying be strong and courageous over and over.

In the middle of all the instructions to be strong talk, he says....DO not be terrified.  Do not be discouraged.  Now he's not just saying be ye not nervous, he's saying don't be scared out of your mind.  Why would he say that to Joshua unless there was the possibility that God's man could be scared out of his mind?

And then there's Elijah.  God's man who calls out the king.  He has a big day calling down rain from heaven.  But when Jezebel sends him a message that he is dead meat - he shakes with fear and runs for his life.  I love this story....After he ran away and the angels fed him, an angel woke him and said, Get up and eat for the journey is too much for you..... I love this story.  How can a guy go from being God's instrument - so engaged, so spirit filled and overflowing, so expressive of the character and thought and intent of God....How can he go from that and in a nano second run because he's afraid.  Battle fatigue.  It may be spiritual warfare, but it's still warfare.  You get tired and worn out and it makes you scared.  When you get scared, it is disorienting, it is disconnecting, it is disenchanting, it is disabling, it is diseasing, it is just disses you."

That spoke to me.  It's not whether or not we are scared.  It's not about how we present ourselves to others.  The real test is what we do with our fear.

Are you about to face a giant?  Are you sitting in a heap of ashes scraping your boils with broken pottery?  Are you facing a problem that will not go down easy?  Are you scared out of your mind?

It's okay.  God understands.  I don't know where you are today but for some of us the journey is just too much for us.  We need the nutrition and power that comes from rest and from filling up with God's word and the fellowship of encouragers. 

Love overwhelms fear.  The love of our family, the love of our church family, the love and compassion of our encouragers.  And most importantly, the love of God.  I don't believe when we are in our lowest moments that he fusses at us. 

"And when the enemy of my soul comes to intimidate me and he says you're a loser, you'll never amount to anything, it's just all about you.  It's a pipe dream.  You've got enough problems.  You think you can help somebody else?...And Jesus who fights our battles steps between us and says.  Destroyer your native tongue is lying.  You go because this guy....this girl is mine, you have no place here.  And power chases away fear.  Fear is like fog that when the light of day and the warmth of the sun comes, it cannot stay.  The closing in feeling of fear has to go when HE shows up!"

Thank you Dr. Foth.

I believe that God looks at us with eyes of love that says, "Be still....its don't have to be anything in this moment except My Child.....Be still and know that I am your God.  I am your love, I am yours and you are mine."

Today I hope you will rest in the knowledge that no matter where you are....You are his child and he loves you!

YES!  God loves you,


If you would like a copy of Dr. Foth's series, send me an e-mail and I'll tell you how to order one.

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