Fear…Not

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12: 2

 

I’m typing in the darkness of an unfamiliar place. The shadows in the hotel room arc and dance in strange patterns and the sounds echo above me and outside. Our kids toss and turn, their wiggly bodies testing out soft new sheets and bountiful, fluffy pillows. I hear a whisper, and a giggle followed closely by Trevor’s quiet shush.

 

It’s nearly 10:30pm. Peaceful weariness covers the dark room.

 

Feet swish against slick sheets. My tiny laptop provides the only light in the room and I squint from its glare.  A conspiring whisper and another shush slice through the pitch darkness beyond me. Trevor’s drawn out yawn momentarily eclipses all other sounds in the hotel room. Mine follows closely behind.

 

It hasn’t been the easiest day, but I’m full. Full with gratefulness for safe travels, full with an appreciation of this new place and experiencing this adventure with my family, and full with the familiar realization that our nature always fears what we don’t know.  

  

 Today my heart stumbled when Chase’s blue eyes welled up on the drive to St. Augustine, overflowing down his cheeks. We haven’t traveled a great deal in his short life, and even though we’ve told them about this trip for the last few weeks, his mind couldn’t quite get past one fact.

 

“Can’t we just go home tonight?”

 

Twice, three times, maybe a dozen times Trevor and I heard those words spoken softly in the car. Home, home, home. Please mommy? Chase repeated what he wanted most – to sleep in his own bed, that night and every night. 

 

 A week ago he assured me there was nothing interesting in St. Augustine or at Kennedy Space Center – our second destination this trip – so we should just stay home.

 

“My bed is the best one.” Plaintive, certain, urgent.

 

When I gently asked why he didn’t want to go and tried to reassure him about our vacation, he didn’t budge.

 

“I just want to stay home. I like sleeping in my own bed.”

 

I certainly understood his logic. I travel at least once a month with my boys to my parents’ in Cape Coral. About an hour and a half south, I could probably drive it blindfolded (though I wouldn’t attempt that during snowbird season). Despite the fact that I love visiting my parents and my sister and her family and my friends, I also love returning home to my hubby and my own bed.

 

There is such sweet comfort in what we see, feel, hear, and touch each day. It brings peace hearing the familiar creaks and groans of our own house, the gentle swoosh of attic fan when the air kicks on (or the heat for someJ), and the quiet drone of safe, loved voices nearby.

 

Even silence sounds better in our own house.

 

Too often I’m the same way. God places something new in front of me, a task, a situation, or even a person I don’t think I can deal with and I cry out,“Can I just stay home? Can’t I keep doing ____ so I don’t have to do ______?”

 

My nature fears the unknown. And sometimes I let my fear of what I don’t know overshadow the wonder of being lead by God toward something He specifically planned for me. But when we’re in Christ – redeemed by His sacrifice on the Cross – there is no unknown.

 

There are only steps toward our Savior in faith.

 

Loud, excited whispers bounce back and forth between our boys as they snuggle under the covers of a strange bed. Chase is perfectly fine now and I’m reminded how deliberately fear cages us in. It becomes a barbed-wire boundary too many times we won’t cross.

 

In The Grace Awakening, Charles Swindoll shares the command Jesus used the most. Amazingly – actually not, given our nature – it is, “Fear not.”

 

I love that! When my Savior says, “Fear not,” it speaks into my life and opens my cage of fear. Because isn’t that what fear does? It surrounds, corrals, and oftentimes cages us in until we’re useless and frozen.

 

Fear not. Do not be afraid.

 

Jesus’ words provide a ladder to scale the barbed-wire fence of fear. I am redeemed through grace, not by fear. I am His! I don’t want anything holding me back from growing in His grace and my faith.   

 

I hear the blessed sounds of our boys’ slow and deep breathing, their tired bodies finally succumbing to sleep. I am filled anew, grateful for God’s faithfulness even through my sinful fear.  A sweet reminder lays on my heart, echoing across the ebony darkness of the night.

 

In Psalm 27:1, David wrote, “Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life.”

 

Thank you, Lord! You are my strength…my everything

  

The end must be the same as the beginning…with Isaiah 12:2, words my soul adores. God’s Word doesn’t corral us in barbed wire, but opens our eyes to true freedom through Jesus. His Word won’t cage us in, but rather loosen worldly bonds and set us free, in Him and for His glory.

 

Fear…Not! 

 

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12: 2

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One thought on “Fear…Not

  1. Did you ever notice that when God/Jesus used the phrase, “Fear not” it was almost always when God’s power or presence was made manifest? Usually, in the Bible the people were the most afraid was when they in His presence. Food for thought perhaps…

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