"Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows"Luke 12:7
Oh, how I needed those words today. I do so much out of fear, so much that I am not even sure how much! A few years ago, after the time that I had my fourth child and only girl-we were going through financial strain and I decided that I would go back to work part time with my Dad and even though my DH(dear hubbie) supported this in theory, he didn't know how to take up the slack or live without me being available all the time. He also didn't like all the "fun" it seemed like I was having as I went on trips and shopping sprees and had an independence that was new. I could have chosen right away to walk away and submit to the facts, being that my family needed me and it wasn't working towards harmony but dragging us apart. But, I was so selfish and felt justified that they all needed to learn the hard way to quit relying on me, so I kept tugging.
Right before all this began, I had started to take a common prescription drug to cope with my overwhelming disappointment at the way my husband"helped" and my inability to stop crying. I had so much sadness. If you have ever been touched by true depression than you know what I am talking about. I got on the drug, for about 6 months so that I could think clearly and then decided that it was time to quit because I hadn't cried at all in that time. I knew that I would have to battle with the same demons again but I felt prepared knowing that.
I was no longer crying, I was angry. I didn't cry at all until I was on a business trip receiving a massage and it all came out. The massage therapist asked me permission to ask a deep question, I gave it and he asked,"What are you afraid of?" I was shocked. I hadn't realized the connection to my fear and my anger or my sadness. What was I afraid of? I didn't know exactly, but I began to look for it. I knew that I was afraid of leaving my family alone, esp my kids with their dad because I thought they would end up dead or worse...dirty and dressed all wrong. I was afraid of being poor and dependent, of not pleasing my Dad, all this situational stuff. What was at the root?
A few years go by, the question keeps coming back. I worked some here and there, but when it came to the point of my kids needing to be put in daycare, I would quit. We moved to another state and then my journey continued. After a year of being here, I was surprisingly pregnant. I was okay until after the birth. Then it came back, the anger to the point of tears, the nail digging frustration at my position(stuck in bed while the world fell apart) I had no joy, only pain and suffering. Yet,one day as I sat there wondering why,the Lord let me in on something. My anger was how I dealt with fear. Fear was the root. I had anxiety, but always thought that meant that my hands would tremble and my voice would shake.I had not attributed anger to being a response to fear. It was true. And in His gentle way, He has continued to show me how much I fear.
When I read this verse today, it stung me. How much of my worry is fear? All of it. I am afraid that if I don't do everything right or at least try than I will be to blame. I am afraid of trouble. Afraid of failure, afraid of being overlooked and forgotten, afraid of missing out on all the fun, afraid we'll never change...
but I wasn't acknowledging any of this fear because it is so natural to do something immediately in response to it to try and make it go away.
I wonder if the reason we turn to false idols is out of fear. Obviously not the right kind of fear, the fear of God-but the fear of stuff just not working out the way we thought it would. For me, I would say it is true. An idol of mine has been, "Skinny" I have thought all this time that "skinny saves" so I have sacrificed to her for many years. I didn't want to admit it, because I really thought it was true. Now, I know it is not. Skinny can not save me. Only God can. So I pray to not bow down to her. What I must not do is worship anything else in her place, except God of course. As with most idols, there is nothing wrong with her until she becomes my source of all satisfaction, a job reserved for the Lord. The answer is not to worship,"Fat" as if that would lead me to joy, because it is just another thing-not God. Only He can satisfy, Seek Him first and all else will be added. He is aware of my every little need.
I think that this equation will work for me with most things. Like money, if I am afraid of being poor and I don't take it to the Lord first, I am likely to worship money and do its bidding. If I am afraid that people don't like me then I am going to bow down at the idol of pleasing people more than God.
Lord, help me to keep You first! Thank you for relieving me of my fears, help me to rest in You. You are able to meet my every need and You know more than I do what those needs are. Thank you for everything in my life that calls me to fear, because through them, I am driven to You. Show me how to fear You above all else. Forgive me for my irreverent ways. Help my to teach and lead others into that God based fear. I love you.