Over the past few weeks, I have been observing the way circumstances will converge to create moments that seems especially poignant. When a phrase caught from the middle of a conversation adds special value to an observed scene while walking, or driving past a bluff as the sunlight first hits the golden hues of Autumn, and you are reminded of the great depth of God’s mercies, and how often we rely on them.
Recent Song selections for church, the Evening Service:
Thy Word Have I Hid in my Heart
Be Thou My Vision
Teach Me Thy Way O Lord
The Bible Stands
Standing On The Promises
People aren’t given over to lyrical and whimsical poetic response often enough. Goodness know I don’t. My thoughts are a bit scattered, so I offer you scattered bits of poetry unfinished, and welcome you to do what your fancy bids with them.
in small moments i sit in my bedroom window
thinking about how the world is so small
how in the matter of a single still moment
the choice that you make could alter it all
what if while praying in the garden that night
Jesus had spoken My will and not Thine
had He refused to give up without fight
to die on the cross as our sacrifice
give the moon my love, dear heart
for daylight fades in yonder sea
the amber glow of evenings light
speaks softly of my bed to me
and then revised by another as…
daylight fades in yonder sea
the amber glow of evening’s light
speaks softly of my bed to me
and beckons lo to morning bright
More About Fear
This is the continuation of the essay started below. Forgive the poor composition. I don’t have time to think through it more thoroughly. Comments are welcome, spelling, grammer corrections, also welcome.
Fear is an emotion that feeds off the intesity of our desires, and is dependant of how much and who or what we trust. When the disciples ran to Christ on the ship, they were afraid because they valued their lives and did not want to loose it, yet they did not trust Christ to protect them.
Fear isn’t intrinsically bad. It is a valuable indicator of more serious problems. Without fear, we would not know when to be cautious. Fear often indicates when we are approaching our limits. Physiologically, fear puts out bodies on alert, preparing us to respond to high stress situations. But fear should never be in control.
In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul indicates the proper place and the proper methods for controlling and using fear. Remember I said fear is dependent of how much and who or what we trust, as well as who and what we value. The disciples were controlled by their fear because they valued something they could loose, and because they did not trust in something they believed could keep it. Had they not cared about their life or if they had trusted Christ was able to keep them from death, they would not have been afraid.
As Christians, who should not be ruled by fear, ie having a spirit of fear, we should instead live being ruled by thee three aspects of the Spirit we do have.
The first spirit Paul says we have, is one of power. Why does power cast out fear? Well, fear can only exist when we believe there is a real chance of loosing something we value, or failing something we wish to achieve. If we believe we are powerless to prevent that loss or failure, then we may very well feel afraid. Yet a Christian knows that he has a Spirit of Power, one that is able to keep those things we have committed unto it. So knowing that we have the means to keep what we value, or to accomplish what we desire is reason not to fear. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
The second Spirit Paul says we have is one of Love. Love is important, because it provides the motivation for what we should desire. When we desire things that God desires for us, we have not need to fear loosing them, for God is well able to keep and provide and secure them for us. Without the proper motivation, we can have no confidence in the Spirit of Power we have been given.
And the third Spirit Paul says we have is one of Soundess of Mind. Some fears are irrational. In fact, most of the wrong kinds of fears are irrational. A sound mind provides us with the method we use to combat those fears, acknowledging the power of God to keep whose things we have committed to Him against that day, and seeking out of love those things God desires for us, we should have no need to fear anything.
When the disciples found themselves fighting a storm so much bigger than them, on a sea enraged by the screaming wind, they were afraid. They ran to Jesus, who was sleeping peacefully at the bottom of the boat, and woke Him crying out for help.
When Peter first put his feet over the edge of the boat and felt the surface of the water hold him, he must have felt a sense of wonder. But when he took his eyes off Jesus he let the overwhelming sense of reality make him afraid and he started to sink.
Each day, the world over, people suffer; they become unable to function, unable to deal with life. They let opportunities pass, they deny themselves joy, honor, and greatness, all because they are afraid. Millions of people find themselves trapped in addictions, unable to let go because they are afraid.
Hamlet spoke through the pen of Shakespeare, eloquently describing the essence that keeps us bound to the earth, bound to the comfortable things we know, when he said, "To die, to sleep. To Sleep? Perchance to dream! Aye, there’s the rub." Later he comes to the essence of the problem, "The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?"
Fear is that emotion which tells us that what we want to do may be worse than what we are doing now. It tells us the prize isn’t worth the risk. It tells us the task is to hard. Fear says, "If you keep do that, it’s going to hurt, it’s going to hurt more than you want it to."
The thing about fear is that it isn’t an intrinsically bad emotion. Fear is a powerful motivator. The problem is that fear is rarely used correctly. You see, we fear all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.