The house is quiet.
With four littles under seven and a seven year old pup, quiet is not common.
As I tucked each one in tonight, I hugged them a little tighter and paused a little longer.
Fear had crept in.
It’s a funny thing that fear. The slippery slope that tugs at a mama’s heart, trying to get in. If we dwell on fear, it takes hold of our heart. It takes our mind to places nightmares are made of. We think about the unthinkable. In a matter of seconds we can go from laughing with our children to being paralyzed, unable to breathe.
Fear is a new struggle for me.
It caught me off guard.
Fear creeps in undetected and will suffocate the life within you, if you let it.
In the past, fear is not something I remember dealing with. I wasn’t afraid to travel overseas as a mere high school student. I didn’t even have my driver’s license yet. Flying in an airplane wasn’t a big deal. Traveling to foreign countries, bartering in the market, in the face of uncertainty traveling through countrysides where had to get out of sight, crouching on the floor of the jeepnee because girls had been taken from vehicles to be raped and murdered. We aren’t promised tomorrow, but that just means I get to look upon the face of Jesus. Fear just hasn’t really been in my vocabulary.
Then I had kids.
They are my heart outside of my body. The thought of losing one of them, I can’t even fathom it. I tuck them into their beds expecting they will bound into my room the next morning. Before I lay my head on my pillow, I kiss their little foreheads and check their breathing. I can’t help it.
But it’s not just my kids.
The thought of losing anyone I know to unexpected death, my chest tightens and it takes my breath. My heart races and I want to hop in our car and drive to their house to hug them. Which isn’t usually possible because we live so far away from family and most of our close friends.
Maybe you’re in the same boat.
Have you been blindsided by fear recently? It doesn’t have to be death. Fear comes in many different shapes and forms. Worry and anxiety usually go hand in hand with fear.
Here’s the thing. We have a choice.
The Bible makes it pretty clear what we should do when fear takes over.
1. Do not fear.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
2. Pray and Give Thanks.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
3. Be strong and courageous knowing that God won’t leave you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
4. Take our thoughts captive. We can’t escape fear. It’s going to come. But we can be prepared.
“…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
5. Guard our hearts and our minds. When the thoughts creep in, we can not dwell on them. Instead, we have to shift our thoughts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
Only then will we find freedom and truly live.
“ So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
Are you dealing with fear today? How can I pray for you?