Monday, February 22, 2010

The only thing to fear

I quit watching horror movies sometime in the last 10-15 years. I'm not sure of the exact reason. I once thought it was because I became a Christian, but I think it had more to do with growing up and realizing that I have enough realistic fears that I don't need to add fictitious ones to the mix.

Some of the things I fear:

getting pregnant again too soon

discovering a major health issue when I don't have medical insurance

stifling my daughter's outgoing personality and wild, creative behavior because I'm tired or impatient or more reserved, myself

obeying God's call on my life

This last one is the one that has been most on my mind lately. God's specific call for my life includes writing. I have lots of ideas, some information, and hardly anything actually written, yet I can't deny that God wants me to write. I can't NOT write, even if I'm just making a grocery list or jotting a note to a friend. It lifts my spirits, gives me hope and spurs me on. My heart races when I do it, and I feel full when I've let my thoughts flow on paper or screen.

And I find myself jealous (usually), critical (sometimes) and challenged (always) when I hear about someone else's writing success. Mostly I just want the time and motivation to do what I know needs to be done.

So I ask myself how much I want it. Because if I really wanted it, I'd do it.

I think I'm afraid. Not of rejection because I know it will happen; it happens to all writers, even good ones. I think I'm afraid that if I write, I'll discover that God didn't call me to that after all, and then I won't know what my calling is.

Wow. That seems a little silly when I see it written before my eyes. Still ...

I read this in Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" today. Speaks to me where I'm at. He says, "tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. ... Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted."

Then I read these words from the psalmist's pen: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear ..." (Psalm 46:1-2a, NIV)

God is my strength, whether in trouble or not. Therefore, I have nothing to fear. "Tenacious" is not a word I would use to describe myself, and I haven't always thought of it as a good thing, but after today, I think it's a necessary attribute for the Christian life.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." From the Christian standpoint, the only person we have to fear is God Himself, not because he's horror-movie scary but because of something else I read today: "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." (Psalm 24:1)

Everything is His. Everyone is His. If that's true, then I don't have to live in fear of any of the above-mentioned circumstances because God is in control. I don't have to acknowledge that He is for that to be true. I don't even have to FEEL like He's in control for it to be true. Because He is in control, all I have to fear is how I live my life in relation to Him -- in obedience or disobedience. One brings life; the other death. I can tenaciously pursue obedience to God and trust Him whatever the outcome or I can live disobediently and find myself merely hanging on, afraid to fall.

The first step is always the hardest.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Lisa. As always, its encouraging to read of your relationship with the Master.