Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

The word continues to return to my mind, a word I wish I could throw over a cliff never to return.

I thought of it again last night as I watched the moon rising above the trees in my backyard.  My favorite kind of moon... the Harvest Moon.

I tease myself during these times, wondering if there is any subconscious reason I adore full moons... although I know the real reason.

For it is that celestial sign that always shows up at precisely the expected time, its' fullness bringing light to an otherwise dark night.

He speaks to me so often in nature.  His Word tells me Mankind can know Him just by looking around and looking... up.   As I gazed at the Harvest Moon and watched its' heavenly path, I thought of the word that had been nagging at my mind for weeks... fear.

I hate fear.  I despise fearing.  Fear is the opposite of faith and I so want to be a person who walks in complete faith and trust of her Savior.  But I find the older I get, the more I battle my enemy.

I don't know, perhaps it is because as we grow older we know that bad things do happen to good people?  We remember the pain and forget the Grace if we do not take every thought captive.

He has been speaking to me about fear and all the names it goes by in my life... apprehension, tension, dread... that feeling that rises in the pit of my stomach when I face the unknown.

Perfect love casts out fear... that is what He says.  Not my perfect love for I can do nothing with complete perfection.  But the fact that His love is perfect, I can depend on that.  Is this what bothers me the most?  Knowing when I fear then I am not trusting His perfect love?

I am not by nature a fearful person.  At least that is what I've always told myself.  But recently He has been talking to me about fear and how I've covered it up using other names.

He has shown me that quiet fear is no less a lack of faith than one who complains about all that could happen in this fallen world.

Yes, I am guilty of quiet fear.  I've realized it as both my doctors tell me I must learn to deal with stress.  What they are saying for the most part is... learn to control your fears.  But I can't control my fears, I have tried.

We are not built to control our fears.  For the harder we try not to fear, the more we think of that which causes the emotions within.  It's much like telling someone not to think of a pink elephant with blue polka dots.  Where does your mind immediately take you... to the pink elephant section of your thinking.

Instead, what He has been showing me in various ways... in His Word, in nature, even when listening to music which gives Him praise... is that I must take my thoughts off that which brings fear, or stress, or apprehension... and keep my mind on Him.

Years ago in the midst of soul wrenching hurricane force trials, I held on to Him for dear life... literally.  Now, in these days when it is the little foxes gnawing at my faith, I need no less to cling to Him.

For years I have been saying what I learned so long ago... Peace is a Person.

I forfeit that peace by letting my mind settle on anything else than the One who can bring that peace.  I must remember that every morning for that is the only way to battle fear by any name.  


Vee said...

Just this morning, I had that gnawing fear come us as I read a little comment about acorns falling earlier than usual and so it will be a long, cold winter. Now of all the foolish things to get myself into a knot about! God is bigger than acorns, squirrels, and rotten winters. I always appreciate your willingness to share from your life experiences. Amen, yes, He Himself is perfect love.

Anonymous said...

I like your comment about God speaking often to you through nature. I too feel closer to God when I am out in nature enjoying his beautiful creation. I can't get that sense of peace anywhere else, not even church.

Judy said...

" the midst of soul wrenching hurricane force trials, I held on to Him for dear life... literally. Now, in these days when it is the little foxes gnawing at my faith, I need no less to cling to Him."

As one who, for several years, walked through the 'soul wrenching hurricane...literally,' I can say that the temptation not to cling to Him when its 'little foxes' can be great. I knew for sure that hiding in Him was my only hope of getting through the hurricane, but can be foolish enough to think I can 'out run' the foxes by my own planning, worrying....

My prayer for God's mercy in the hurricane is the same one I need to offer him when it's just foxes at my heels. Thank you for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. This was for me today.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes think the 'foxes' are worse than the hurricanes. Hurricanes we can hang on through because they are usually temporary, whereas the 'foxes' are always there wearing you down.

Sometimes journalling helps.

Anonymous said...

Our pastor spoke recently on fear. It was quite convicting! He pointed out that fear is a subtle form of idolatry because we have, even unconsciously, ascribed to it more power in our lives than we have given to God. Ouch!! Thank you for reminding us to guard against the little foxes.
With love, Carrot Top

Angela said...

The issues you address are always very timely. I also have been surprised that I struggle more with fear as I get older. I had thought it would be the opposite, but I think maybe it is you just know more bad things, more stories that didn't end well, etc. When we are younger we trust, but we also often have an subconscious optimism about how circumstances will turn out. As we get older, we find out we have to trust no matter how the circumstances turn out, and that's a little deeper and cuts across our hearts sometimes.

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

My blog scroll this week has been, "Today is the tomorrow you were worrying about yesterday. Was it worth it?"

Thanks for sharing your heart.

Children of Eve said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. A very good reminder of many truths.

TeresaAngelina said...

Hello Brenda,
To say that you are fearful does not negate your faith. To be fearful - or any other emotion - has no moral value. You are merely expressing the human condition. Where we get into trouble is when we do - an action - something that is not faithful. Like for example, denying Christ in front of others because of fear. The fear is not the problem; the pretending you are not a Christian is.

Or to change the passion, it is not lust that is the problem, it is the giving into the lust that is.

It is interesting that the first words out of any angelic visitation to man is "Fear not." In fact, take a bit of time and see in your concordance how many times that phrase - fear not - or do not be afraid - is used. And why? Because we do.

Cut yourself some loving slack, Brenda.

Morning's Minion said...

I think you have expressed so well an issue that troubles many of us who call ourselves Christians.
We have the key--we don't always use it--the assurance that it is HIS PERFECT LOVE which will sustain us as we stumble through the complexities of life in an imperfect world.

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

very beautiful !...

Anonymous said...

One of my friends posted on Facebook the other day, reminding herself that "God is bigger than the boogie-man. He's bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on TV . . . " Gotta love the way fear is dealt with by vegetables/Veggie-Tales.

I end up singing the verse about "Got has not give us a spirit of fear, but He has given unto us, a spirit of power, a spirit of love and a sound mind." By the time I'm really feeling it, I'm roaring that out at the top of my lungs. It always helps.

Connie in San Diego

Lynn L. said...

Thank you for sharing your heart today. I was very blessed by it. I appreciate the time you take to share with others. You are a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these wise words, Brenda. I am "apprehensive" today because of a dental appointment in a couple of hours. Yes, a "nicer" way of saying fearful. I hate to admit it but I realized as I read this that I, too, struggle with fear more as I get older.

I am just thinking about the apostle Paul in the book of Acts. Now he really had plenty of reasons to fear! The Spirit even told him what he faced in Jerusalem. His friends pleaded with him not to go but he knew he had to. His friends were fearful but there is no evidence that he was.

You've challenged me today.