By Mary Lindow
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IT’S A STRANGE AND TWISTED WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN
Many well meaning people try hard to give pep talks, cheery texts and even send emails with profound topics or inspirational contents all in the hope of giving a bit of relief from the ever increasing “noises” of an uncertain world.
“ I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
WHAT DO YOU FEAR?
This is not always an easy question to answer right away. Emotions and physical reactions to the question begin to swirl and elevate stress levels when anxiety creeps in.
And, fear is a terror that can paralyze anyone if enough of it is allowed to enter our minds. And that is exactly where it first penetrates our peace. In the Mind.
Fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress; anxiety, worry, angst, unease, uneasiness, apprehension, nervousness, foreboding;
WHEN WE FEAR WE MAKE POOR CHOICES
If you are afraid or “fear” being misled by someone, you will limit your intimacy or openness with him or her. Many believers in need of healing emotionally from harsh or indifferent parenting tend to keep deep relationships or friendship at arm’s length in order to maintain a sense of control or privacy for themselves.
This can become a form of “selective hearing or selective listening” if the individual feels that they need to remain aloof and frosty in order to gain the respect or validation that they feel that they need to exist.
The problem with this cycle is that is creates a private “terror” of not having a solid place of safety with a few dear and treasured people, flawed people… but those willing to also be vulnerable and open.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?”
Every situation, location, and relationship of our everyday lives is in some way broken. As fallen creatures, the best we can ever do in this life is to know how to live in this broken-down house/earth suit that’s our current address. And, nothing and no one but God himself, in the fullness of his time, can change where we live. So as we experience the reality of life in this house, sometimes it will leave us confused and overwhelmed.
Sometimes it will leave us hurt and angry. Sometimes people will give way to envy because the house or “life” of someone living nearby seems far less broken. Sometimes we just get weary of the stress of it all and long for a house in perfect repair.
YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE
In those moments, those days, those seasons, remember that you are never on your own. The Master Builder has given us a copy of his renovation manual, the Bible. It will help us to understand why things are as broken as they are. It teaches us how to live well even in the midst of the brokenness. And it will explain the only way in which repair can ever happen.
Just never forget that the Designer himself has moved into the house with you. You’ve not been left alone. You can rest assured of his presence and his wisdom. His grace has blessed you with both of these.
However, He must be fully welcomed and invited into all of the “locked and hidden access areas” that others are not often trusted to enter into.
He who offers you such grace and guidance will never ask you to do what you are not fully capable of doing by God’s grace and ever present Spirit. He will not demand things of you that are beyond your abilities. Our Lord is tender and kind. He knows who you are and he knows where you’re living. He knows how hard it is to live in your broken-down house because in the flesh he lived here himself.
The Lord invites you to walk away from trying to figure it out on your own and he welcomes you to sit at his feet and learn the simplicities of living; things so full of meaning that you will see your world in a completely new way; things so practical that you will never live the same way again.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
TAKE A LOOK IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR FOR ONE MOMENT
Have you recently made decisions about who you will share with on any level such as giving, talking of dreams, sorrows, losses, major life events, and then afterward - pulled back only to run to either another source for additional validation or to agree with your choices or decisions? Or, have you reacted to some of the counsel or responses you have received by testing those whom you have shared with by removing your favor, kindness or former warmth from them?
These actions are often made rapidly when we are fearful or fear being wounded, and shift us into a place of survival and self-protection.
They can also isolate us from a loving, safe and healthy “corrective course” or direction away from fear and its tentacles.
FINDING THE PLACE OF SAFETY AND ACCEPTANCE
When we step into the hand of God we find the place of acceptance, and safety and an opportunity for service. It is the place of real authority, as well as of hiddenness.
God only works with those who are in His hand and those who do not keep jumping out of it, attempting to either control their own fears, but instead, often try to control others around them due to being fearful of the choices others make possibly affecting them.
Both greatly hinder the ability to trust other godly people and above all, to trust the safety of letting God do His job, while we rest in His hand.
The more we lie sheltered there, the more surely will He use us down the road. And it will be alongside others who freely share all that they have, without fear. Just as you will learn as you let go, and allow the Father to build a “Safe House” out of your life in His presence.
May the Lord do for us according to His word.
He said, "I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of My hand."
Charles Spurgeon spoke such a beautiful statement and I want to share it with you here.
“The shadow of God is not the occasional resort,
but the constant abiding- place, of the saint.
Under His shadow we are to feel that we are at home,
and then He will make Himself at home to us by becoming food unto our souls,
and giving spiritual refreshment to us while we rest.”
NO MORE HOOPS TO JUMP
When this is learned and treasured, you will then not withhold from or test others with rules or regulations set up to certainly fail them. We ruin great friendships or opportunities when we expect from others total vulnerability and openness and then only give part of what we have and who we are back in return.
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Perhaps you are waiting on Christ, desiring His company, and while you are thinking these thoughts you are asking, "Will He ever direct His full gaze upon me? Will He ever speak loving words to me? Will He ever let me sit at His feet? Will He ever permit me to lean my head upon His shoulder?"
COME AND STEP BACK INTO THE SHELTER OF HIS HAND.
Though you might shake like a leaf in a strong wind. Come! Sometimes those who come trembling are those who are aware that they are the lowest and the Creator the highest. When finally admit that our own self-esteem is less than nothing and is total vanity, then Jesus is the more good and lovely in our eyes.
Let your humility of heart, and your sense of hollowness, as a replacement for disqualifying you, be a sweet instrument for leading you to receive more of Christ.
“Before his downfall a man's heart is proud,
But humility comes before honor.”
The emptier I am, the more room is there for the Lord
The more I lack, the more He will give me.
The more I feel my weakness, the more shall I adore and bless Him when He makes me whole.
You’re never in a better place than when you give up on you and begin to trust in what is certain.
The life-shaping wisdom of the One who created you - in the first place.
“After all, every house has a builder,
But the builder of everything is God.”
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Copyright 2013 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow