Thursday, February 26, 2009

Get Rid of the Fear

I don't know how last week's DVD affected you, but that was some pretty heavy stuff, wasn't it? (I wish I had heard Beth Moore's thoughts on dying before I was diagnosed with cancer!) I had warned the day class ahead of time that this week's DVD topic was heavy and would be a lot to absorb. About three-fourths of the way through the DVD, I noticed that there was not a sound--literally--in the room; no one moved a muscle, every eye was riveted on the screen. I'm not sure they were even taking notes. The silence had an odd feel to it.

Usually, when the DVD finishes, everyone is gathering her belongings and chatting with others around her. That morning, instead, there was total silence; no one moved at all. As I walked to the front to dismiss the group, I was unprepared for what I said. Their eyes were huge, and I can't even describe the looks that I saw on their faces. I was so taken aback by those looks that I totally lost my train of thought. All I could think of to say was, "Well, how about that?" Even then, it was several seconds before anyone gathered her wits enough to say simply, "Wow."

Heavy, heavy, heavy! But it was so basic, basic, basic! How could we have missed something so basic for so long? I've been a Christian a long time, and I've never heard the topic of fear taught as it was taught in that session. As Beth Moore pointed out, we all have our own private fears. "What if----?" Usually when we say that, we are referring to something we fear, so Beth suggested that we remember that the "if" stands for "I Fear." We've all heard that most of the things that we fear never happen; they are just "False Evidence Appearing Real." So we're wasting a lot of time, mental energy, etc. on something that may never happen. I love, love, love how Beth led us through the worst possible scenarios and showed us how we as Christians can survive even our worst fears--the death of a child or spouse, the pregnant 15-year-old daughter, the terrible health diagnosis, a tornado demolishing a home, whatever. We can handle it! Philippians 4:13 promises us that! It doesn't promise that it's going to be easy or fun, but we can get through it!

In thinking about those things, we all are prone to think, "If ----, I couldn't stand it. I would just die." That is a point of weakness in our faith, and Satan will focus in on that issue to break down our trust in God. But if we face life truly trusting that: 1) God loves us, 2) God knows what is best for us, and 3) He is able to do anything He chooses, then we really can live our lives with a minimum of fear. Think about how much of your day is spent in fear. What could you do with that much time and mental energy every day if you didn't have to deal with fear?!

The last part of the DVD was something I had considered, but I had never heard it put the way that Beth put it. In essence, she said that if our not being healed from some serious disease or our not recovering from a bad car wreck was God's plan for us, that was part of our destiny. We should live that part of our destiny as courageously as we live the rest of our destiny. The Timmons' translation for that is, "If that kind of death is God's destiny for you, do a good job of it!" I've known of situations in which the manner that someone died actually witnessed to other people. How awesome is that!

If you'll think about it, we all should die the way that we're supposed to live--so that God will be glorified. In order to live and die in that manner, we have to get rid of the fear. Praise God, that is truly possible!

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