Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
In Christ, you have unequaled peace, unlimited resources, unfailing help and unceasing strength to face ANYTHING without fear. ~Donna Pyle at Hydrated Living
What fears do you harbor in your day-to-day life? Are they rational, or irrational? Have you taken the time to analyze them? Asked Christ Jesus to help you face your fears through His strength and presence?
I have fears. Even though I know the promise of the Lord, I have fears.
Some are rational. They belong in the "fight or flight" category of my mind.
I despise heights in narrow places. My mind convinces me that I have not the strength to hold on; that at any moment, I will plunge over the edge . . . Vertigo, anyone?
I cannot drive the expressway. Perhaps, these aging eyes, thought perked by contacts, just don't judge depth or speed correctly. In my defense, however, if you've ever attempted to navigate Atlanta's metro freeways, you know how many crazies are doing their roaring best to make your journey as unnerving and as stressful as possible. I'll take the slower, saner back-roads, thank you very much.
When our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is playing, carefree, on our deck, I'm right there with her. The fear of her tumbling down the precarious stairs or leaning too far over the edge of the rails only to land in a lifeless heap upon the ground, keeps a healthy fear alive within me.
But then, there are the irrational fears which have nothing to do with our God-given gift of "fight or flight." These are the ones imposed by society. By cultural expectations. By family rigors all too impossible to meet.
These are the ones I believe Christ Jesus would not let trouble our hearts. As I've made the long journey from religion to relationship with the Lord, I've learned, little by little, to not be afraid of what I used to fear. To let go and let God who tells me "do not be afraid." Am I a work in progress? Of course! So are you!
But these are the fears I have either left behind, or am still submitting to Him for healing. Fears that have prevented me from realizing His peace which passes all understanding, yet allows you and me to face ANYTHING without fear, without question:
- I must please others, or I am unworthy of love
- I cannot express my opinion to my co-workers if it means I might offend someone.
- I can't live up to those images on the People-styled magazines, and I'm so afraid that everyone judges me in this way.
- I don't have the wealth I should have at this stage in life, therefore, I'm inferior and undeserving.
- If I say what I truly think about a crucial issue, people I care about will abandon me.
- I know if I post this on Facebook, I'm going to suffer the ire of persons who don't really know who I am.
- I know Christ says He is there for me, that He has loved me from the start, but I don't feel worthy. I haven't done enough in His name.
- I can't tell my family how I'm really feeling, because I can't tolerate the criticism that will follow.
Do any of these fears sound like yours? Could you add some to this list?
Take comfort, as I am in these days, that Jesus does not give as the world does. He gives as God gives: Hearts untroubled, not fearing, filled with peace.
Unequaled peace . . .
Will you embrace that unequaled peace in this New Year?
Prayer: Father of peace, of mercy, and of grace, grant us the courage to face our fears and to leave all our worries upon the light yoke of Christ Jesus, the One who promises to carry our burdens and provide sustenance in His presence. Release us from irrational fears in this world. Guide us to trust in Your promises of peace for our hearts, minds, and souls. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.