Fear

Fear filled her. Unknown fear. Nameless fear. Fear she couldn’t connect to a source. All she knew was she was afraid.

“Lord, speak to me. Tell me what I need to know to relieve this fear.” she prayed.

“We are one.” came the swift reply.

We are one? She frowned. She and God were one? What did that even mean? How were they one? She wasn’t God. It sounded nice, but she couldn’t figure out what He was talking about.

He broke into her thoughts. “Listen. We are one. You and me. Forever.”

OK, she got the ‘you and me’ part. She knew when she gave her life to Him, she became His – His property, His follower, His friend, His daughter, etc.  And the forever part – she knew she would be with Him forever. So maybe that’s what He meant by ‘we are one’, that they were joined and would never be separated. That was good for the future. The problem was now. How was knowing that going to help her with the present day fear problem?

“Don’t you get it yet?” He asked gently. “When you hurt, I hurt. Come to Me with your problems, your pain, your fears. I can take them from you. Do you understand?”

She shook her head. In her head, she understood what He was telling her. But in the nitty gritty of everyday life, she wasn’t so sure it worked like He said. All she had to do was go before Him with whatever problem or fear she had, and He would take it from her? She had tried that in the past without success.

“Do you believe me?” He asked.

She wanted to. And to a degree she did. But deep down? Did she believe He could take her fear from her? Thinking of her attempts to believe her fear away in the past, she wasn’t so sure.

“Do You trust Me?” He asked, getting to the root of the issue.

Oh no. Not that question. She knew He was trustworthy and that she should trust Him.  And she WAS working on it. But she had been let down or betrayed by everyone in her life – family as well as friends. And there was still so much doubt clouding her heart and mind that she was sure she didn’t trust Him like He wanted her to. And that made her feel bad.

“I love you. I will not hurt you. Ever.” He reassured her.

She wanted desperately to believe that. Maybe deep down, where He had planted His Spirit, she did. But it was covered with layers of fear and pain and distrust.

“Oh, God, help me!” she cried out. “I want to trust You!”

“Follow Me. We’ll walk this path together. ” He invited. “Take it one step at a time. As I prove my trustworthiness to you day by day, your trust will grow. And when you can trust Me, when you can believe Me at My word, when you know My love for you and all that means, then your fears will be gone. For perfect love casts out fear.”

“I’ve read that scripture,” she told Him. “It says fear has to do with punishment. I don’t think that’s the same kind of fear I struggle with. I’m not afraid that You will punish me.”

“The bottom line is the same. Let’s look at your fear. What are you afraid of?”

“That’s just it. I don’t know.”

“OK. Let’s say it’s about feeling you’re in danger. Would that be realistic?”

“Yes, since I live and travel alone, I do fear for my safety at times.”

“Why would being alone make you fear?”

“There’s no one to protect me.”

“I’m there to protect you.”

“I know You can but I’m afraid You won’t for whatever reason.”

“So it’s a trust issue.”

“I guess so.”

“What if your fear was in having to do something outside your comfort zone? Like speaking in front of hundreds of people? What would you be afraid of?”

“I would be afraid I would mess up, or make a fool of myself.”

“Would it help if you didn’t have to do it alone? If someone was standing there with you, giving you suggestions and reassurances?”

“Definitely.”

“I would be standing there with you.”

“But would I be able to hear You.”

“So it’s a trust issue again. You don’t trust that I could make myself heard by you. One more example. What if your fear had to do with illness. What if you were just diagnosed with cancer. What would you be afraid of?”

“I would be afraid of dying. Of what would happen to my family if I did die. Of not knowing how bad it would get. Of the side effects of the treatment I would have to have. Mostly, I would be afraid of not having control.”

“What if you knew dying only meant being with Me? What if you knew your family would be taken cared of? What if you knew someone would be there every step of the way with your treatments? What if you knew someone who could not only control it all, but do so in your favor?”

“Yeah, I see what You’re saying. It does come down to trust.”

“The same goes with other fears. They all boil down to trust.”

Thinking about it, she saw that He was right.

“And why can’t you trust Me?” He asked her.

“Because I see and read about people who got hurt even though they were Your followers. If You let them get hurt, You could let me get hurt.”

“So your faith is in what you see, not in Me. Why is that?”

“Because I know what I see better than I know You.”

“Do you really know what you see? Do you really know why they got hurt? Why it appeared that I let them get hurt?”

“No,” she had to admit.

“So knowing is not the issue. It’s trust.”

“So how do I learn to trust You?”

“Like I said. Walk with Me one step at a time. As You experience My faithfulness, your trust will grow. As You experience My unconditional love for you, your trust will grow.

What really gives fear a handhold in your heart is your fear to let fear go. The thoughts IMG_20180430_181558737and reasons you have about why you need that fear make you take it back every time I try to take it from you. But over time trust in Me will grow until it’s bigger than your fear. Then all you’ll need to do when a fear appears is to ask Me to take it and I will. And your belief, your trust in Me, will make it possible for you to let go of it for good.

Got it?”

And she did. And He was right. Over time, her trust in Him did increase, and the fears in her did decrease. Amazing.

Wrestling with God (continued from You Want to be a What?)

IMG_20180420_033725515(If you haven’t read  You Want to Be a What?, you may want to read that first to provide the context for this dialogue.)

God, we need to talk.

I’m listening.

Did You send my friend over here today on purpose?

Maybe.

Is she right? That I need to release him to You before You can work in our lives?

Hmmm…

Does that mean You’re planning something for both of us? Or is this just for him?

What do you mean?

If you take him to serve You, You have a plan for him.

Of course.

Then what about me? I’m involved too.

Yes, you are.

I need You as much as he does.

Yes, you do.

I want Your perfect will for me as much as he does for him.

That’s nice to hear. But what are you really saying?

I don’t want to be left behind.

Ah.

And I’m upset. You told me it was OK to go out with him. To talk to him. To let my feelings grow.

Yes, I remember that.

So why? Why tell me that just to take him from me?

(silence)

Did you plan this to show me I can love again? If so, You could have shown me that when You gave me someone to keep.

(silence)

Did you call him away to show me how much I love him? If so, You could have let me discover that on my own.

(silence)

If this is to show him something, then that’s even worse because that’s using me. Downgrading me, like I’m not important. You love me and promised to take care of me. You can’t just use me like that.

(silence)

If You’re doing this to push him in a different direction, then I want some definite guidance, too.

(silence)

If You’re going to split us up, then I want a reason. It makes no sense to put us together, encourage us grow close, just to separate us. That’s mean, and You’re not mean so I can’t believe that’s what You are doing.

Whew. I was worried there for a minute.

Why are You doing this?

Trust

Trust?

Do you trust Me? You’ve been saying you do. Do you really?

(pause)

Well?

I’m thinking about it.

I’ll give you a moment.

Trust is hard but I believe You love us and want what’s best for us. So yes, I trust You.

Here’s another question: Do you really want My perfect will?

Definitely. You’ve already shown me many times that Your will is better than mine.

One more question. Will you really give Me everything?

I’ve already given You everything.

Everything?

OK, not everything. Not him. You want him? He’s Yours.

Good.

Wait! Don’t take him just because I’m giving him to You.

(laughter)

Lord, here’s the bottom line. I will accept whatever You want for me – for us – with one condition: that I know it’s Your will. I don’t have to have a reason. I just need to know that it’s Your will and not our misguided decisions.

Are you finished? Is it My turn to talk?

Yes, Lord.

I love you and want what’s best for you, just as I love him and want what’s best for him. Trust Me. Keep going out with him. He’s OK. It’s OK. You’re in my will.

Soooo… do You want him to be a priest?

No.

Then what in the world is this all about? What do You want me to do?

Continue what you are doing. Listen to Me. Relax. I know what’s going on and I’m in control. I will take care of you. I’m on your side. Will you trust Me?

to be continued