With summer upon us, the hot temps have come with a vengeance and that means one thing in the Hoehne household… family naps! That’s right folks… Most days we have about a 2 hour “quiet time” where the kids and I split up into separate rooms to read &/or sleep. I also refer to this time as “happy hour”.
I decided to start a new book, so as I dusted off the covers of the books on my shelf and one book in particular caught my eye…
Do you know why it caught my eye? Because it was hot and the water looked refreshing. That’s it. I wish I was wherever this picture was taken, so I decided to read the book.
I quickly skimmed through the description of the book because I wouldn’t classify myself as someone who struggles with fear. I like roller coasters, water slides, flying, traveling, and trying new foods. In my head… fear is for people “with issues”.
Boy did I have a lot to learn. So in this fantastic book, Max Lucado (one of my favorite authors) highlights 13 of our most common fears:
– Fear of Not Mattering
– Fear of Disappointing God
– Fear of Running Out
– Fear of Not Protecting My Kids
– Fear of Overwhelming Challenges
– Fear of Worst-Case Scenarios
– Fear of Violence
– Fear of the Coming Winter
– Fear of Life’s Final Moments
– Fear of What’s Next
– Fear that God is Not Real
– Fear of Global Calamity
– Fear of God Getting out of My Box
Holy Mother of Reality… I could relate to each one of these! How embarrassing! Because 5 minutes ago I was the self-proclaimed expert on “walking by faith, not by sight”. Now I was clinging to the book tightly and conspiring about how I could change my kids clocks so they would stay in their room longer so I could read about my plethora of “issues”.
Chapter 1 was a doozie. I’ll share with you just a few of the bombs that planted themselves right in the middle of my hypocritical garden of a heart.
Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. And it turns us into control freaks. “Do something about the storm!” is the implicit demand of the question. “Fix it or … or… or else!” Fear at its center, is a perceived loss of control. When life spins wildly, we grab for a component of life we can manage: our diet, the tidiness of our house, the armrest of a plane, or in many cases, people. The more insecure we feel, the meaner we become. We growl and bare our fangs. Why? Because we are bad? In part. But also because we feel cornered.”
Ouch! This summer reading was coupling nicely with a Bible Study I’m doing about humility. The Lord has been gently and lovingly ‘yelling’ at me with a bullhorn that authentic humility practices aggressive confession. Humility is the correct estimation of ourselves which results from a correct estimation of our God. In other words… I am coming to the deep realization of my unworthiness to receive God’s marvelous grace.
Thus began the practice of praying through Psalm 51 each morning. As I began to see a hint of the wickedness in my heart, I became more aware of my need for a Holy God. And this Holy God wants to make me like Himself! This is a big Big BIG task… but He created the Universe, so I don’t doubt His ability level.
“When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life. Can the safety lover do anything great? Can the risk-averse accomplish noble deeds? For God? For others? No. The fear-filled cannot love deeply. Love is risky. They cannot give to the poor. Benevolence has no guarantee of return. The fear-filled cannot dream wildly. What if their dreams sputter and fall from the sky? The worship of safety emasculates greatness. No wonder Jesus wages such a war against fear.” (page 10)
I wonder if the disciples ever reflected on the most-often repeated phrases of Christ. If so, they would have noted, “He was always calling us to take courage.”
BE STRONG and COURAGEOUS!
Lord- Please give us a Joshua-like COURAGE!!