Monday, April 15, 2013

The Fear Factor

Desperation makes people do all kinds of things they would normally never consider.

A mom afraid of losing a bitter custody battle hides her daughter in plain sight, only to be arrested a few hours later, ensuring the very consequences that she was so adamantly fighting against.

A teenage girl steals money from her parents to pay for an abortion she will regret for years to come, all because she allowed emotional desperation to please her boyfriend to overcome her good judgment & strict morality.

A normally quiet and successful student buys a term paper on line because he was goaded into partying all weekend and didn't finish his, which ends up resulting in a failing grade and expulsion from school.

A husband and father realizes that his financial obligations are beyond his income and begins to syphon off just a small, but ever increasing, amount of money from the investment funds he manages.

There are numerous examples I could cite, but you get the idea. Fear shows its face in many ways and on many occasions in life. We borrow trouble, camp on the "what ifs", and "awfulize" our circumstances. Small things become giant obstacles, our thoughts get muddied and clouded, & our nightmare of losing control kicks in. We begin to take matters into our own hands, manipulating & orchestrating. Our emotions run wild and pretty soon we are beyond the point of rational decision-making. We grasp at any solution, viable or not, which we hope can get us out of our crisis.

The truth is, we're not any different from many Bible characters who dealt poorly with their fears.
Consider Adam & Eve who were so frightened of the consequences of their poor decisions that they actually tried to hide from God and take care of their sin problem themselves.

Abraham was so afraid of what might happen if he told the truth that he lied about Sarah being his wife, claiming her to be his sister instead.

And then there was David who manipulated a murder in order to cover up his adulterous affair with a married woman.

Skip to the New Testament and the news is not any better.  Peter is so threatened by a little girl's questions and the possible consequences that he lies about even knowing His Lord.

A woman, desperate to save her sick child, followed Jesus and begged Him for mercy. When her pleading was ignored, she groveled at His feet and even argued with His answer in order to enlist His healing power for her daughter.

Fear causes us to do desperate, sometimes irrational things. Instead of manipulating our circumstances and trying to do everything in our own way, God would have us Trust. Sounds so simple, doesn't it. God simply wants us to trust Him. He knows the path ahead, the details, & the course around, over, or through the obstacles. He knows our weaknesses, our failings, & our missteps. He has already determined a course of action that takes all of our faults into account, weaving a tapestry of our lives that includes our blackest circumstances and His brightest rescues. He has redeemed our folly and is perfectly willing and capable of turning our worst mistake into something He can use for good, either ours or someone else's.

Our "light and momentary troubles" often seem like never-ending hurricanes. We can't see the end and solutions evade us...but that's ok! God sees. And He not only just sees, but His all-encompassing love for us makes the way clear, if we ask Him to show us, & allows for us to walk through even our darkest valleys with indescribable peace. We can cast our cares on Him, release our pent-up emotions, & rest in His comforting arms. There is no need for us to fear, for His perfect love for us eliminates its need.

If you are in the grip of fear through overwhelming circumstances, emotional turmoil, or the uncertainty of the "what ifs" of tomorrow, let God break you free. Turn to Him with all of your broken pieces and He will turn the shattered fragments into a beautiful mosaic that will not only be a joy to you but a witness to those around you. He can do it... let Him!