As I write this musing, I have a lizard in a cage sitting on my desk. Perhaps that seems a bit strange to you, but it is part of my attempt to deal with a life time phobia of those silly little creatures. I grew up in Hawaii and they were everywhere (including my bed). I learned to be petrified of those scary monsters. (They are cursed, by the way, in Lev. 11!)
Even as an adult, I would wig out in a serious kind of way every time one of them crossed my path, showed up on my porch, or encroached in my yard.
But this fall I have an opportunity to do some Bible teaching down in El Salvador. It is a great opportunity and I am honored to be asked. However, El Salvador is a warm climate. Warm climates yield lots of these small “beasts.” No doubt they will be part of my environment down there.
So, it is time to deal with this fear.
You may not give lizards a second thought, but I will bet that your life has an array of fears that crop up from time to time and upset your world. You may have fears associated with your body. Perhaps some identity issues haunt you and impact your social life.
Maybe you have fears associated with your work (at home or school or at the office). Maybe you are afraid of failing, or fearful about some financial concerns. Maybe speaking in front of people scares you to death.
Perhaps your fears are all associated with your children. Will they be healthy? Comfortable? Safe? Or maybe your worries all center around your possessions. Do we have “enough?” How can I be sure that we are planning properly for the future?
Chances are you won’t have something ensconced on your desk in an attempt to desensitize yourself. But we all need to learn strategies for dealing with our fears. So, let me suggest a couple to focus on this week.
First, remember to deal in facts, not feelings (Phil. 4:8). What we are mulling in our minds may in fact not represent current truth. (“It’s raining, the kids might be killed in a car wreck.”) Don’t let your heart spin out of control. Anchor it in the facts associated with God’s care for His people.
And secondly, be careful about what you feed your fears. If we feed our fears, we starve our faith. But the reverse is also true. If we starve our fears, we feed our faith. We need to be intentional about what we say to our self and others about our fears. Instead, we need to make statements of faith.
Next time it rains, try repeating: “I am trusting the Lord with my children. He does not have any grandchildren. He loves them more than I ever could…”
So, this week, come join me in pursuit of FEARLESS LIVING.