“Do not worry about your life… do not worry about tomorrow” Jesus, Matthew 6
I’m a self-identified wimp. If I see a bee hive, or even a solitary bee zooming in my direction, I run. Bees, bugs, and insects press my panic buttons. In fact, one of my worst experiences was in Singapore when I found myself trapped in an elevator for eleven floors with a giant, demented cockroach. Racing back and forth like the Energizer Bunny, that insect reduced me to a quivering, whimpering shadow of my normal self. I’m not sure what happened to me but it wasn’t pretty!
What about you? What scares you? Panics you? Grips you with worry and fear? Or are you quite different? Calm, rational, in control of your mind and emotions and slightly amused by those of us who are aren’t?
KEY #1 to conquering worry and fear is to recognize: it is normal! (Look for Keys 2-4 in coming blogs)
Even the giants of faith in Scripture experienced fear:
When Abraham feared, God appeared saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I AM your shield….” Genesis 15.
Moses quaked in fear when God said, “Go and deliver my people.” Exodus 3-4.
Elijah ran with fear-inspired energy from Jezebel and her threats. 1 Kings 19:3
Esther trembled with fear when facing personal danger. Esther 4-5.
Peter shrank back in fear, hotly disputing he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Matthew 26: 69-75.
Like each of these Biblical characters, we live in scary times. In addition to world-wide terrorism, you might be grappling with fears that are closer to home:
- How can my income stretch to cover the bills?
- Is my marriage going to survive—or will I find myself a single mom?
- What will the doctor say at my next appointment?
- What kind of choices will my kids make—and how do I cope with choices already made?
- Can I survive the next round of job cuts? Where will I find work if I’m let go?
- How can I help my parents? How do we heal the fractures in our family?
- Who will take care of me when I’m older?
Let me encourage you with 3 facts:
- Fear is normal. It’s a human response to feeling in danger, so don’t be ashamed if you struggle with it. But being gripped by negative and destructive emotions is not where God wants you to stay. Jesus said, “Come to Me… I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28
- God wants you to experience His power and blessing by giving all your anxieties to Him and experiencing a peace that comes by trusting He knows all about you and personally cares for you. Philippians 4:6-9
- We can all celebrate the fact that God uses human beings who are weak, wimpy, and timid by nature to bring Him glory (as well as the naturally brave ones!). BUT let’s also recognize: God’s goal is always to grow our faith so we trust Him more and more in life’s scary situations. Proverbs 3: 5-6
Here are three statements about fear. What do you think of them? I’d love to know your thoughts.
- Fear is anticipating the worst, not the best that can happen.
- Fear is the wrong use of imagination.
- Fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real
Remember: When your knees are knocking, kneel on them.
From your wimpy friend who is growing in faith by God’s grace,
Next time we’ll look at KEY #2: Recognize the Role of Your Mind
POPPY SMITH is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She is funny, deep, transparent, and passionate about inspiring women to make their lives count for God. A former Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader with a Masters in Spiritual Formation, Poppy is a multi-published author whose speaking ministry has taken her across the nation and to over twenty countries.