Godly Fear

Fear does have a way of robbing us of our joy, doesn’t it? There are so many things that I fear. Will I ever find my Mr. Right? Will I ever be a mom? Will I be able to make and save enough money to go on that vacation I want to go on? Will my paycheck make it to the next paycheck? (And the list of questions is endless.

I am such a blessed woman. I have a roof over my head. I have a car. I have food and clothing (more clothes than I probably need). I have a wonderful job that I love. I live close enough to my work, that I can walk to work every day. I am blessed to have amazing friends and family. Yet sometimes these wonderful things are overshadowed by the deep dark fears in my life. And, my friends, I don’t want those fears to rob me of my joy!
Yet it is so easy for my joy to be overshadowed by my fears. Just today, I had a moment where I was so worried about something that I found fear and even anger inching its way into my heart and soul.
As I felt that fear and anger boiling up in my body, I was reminded that fear is not of God. In those moments, I hear Jesus saying, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its owns. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:34 NRSV).” (So much easier said than done!)

The truth is that there is Godly fear….but that is a different kind of fear than the fear that barges in and steals all of our joy. It is a fear that reminds us of the power of God’s love and grace. In fact, it is that kind of fear that calls us to be “a voice and not an echo.” It is also that Godly fear that invites us ALL to the table of grace where we are to break bread together. It is that Godly fear that reminds us constantly of who and whose we are!

I don’t know about you, but for me, it is the kind of fear that I need to cling too; a fear that is grounded in God’s grace for God’s people. There are so many days when I question why I fear certain things in my life. Yet the truth is that God calls me to trust in him and to not let my fears overshadow the moments of deep joy in my life. In fact, it is Godly fear that crushes our worldly fears.

As I write this, I find my body exhaling as I cling to the joy I see around me; a picture on Facebook of a friend’s son playing on a slip and slide (pure and utter joy), listening to the birds outside my house as they enjoy the bird feeder in my neighbor’s yard, celebrating friend’s birthdays, reading a book on my patio on a beautiful summer day and the list goes on. It seems to me that when we celebrate and remember the gifts and blessings around us, we are able to let Godly fear extinguish those worldly fears in our lives.

I am not saying that we won’t fear because the truth is we will. We are all human…and fear is indeed a human emotion. Tomorrow I will probably wake up with another fear finding its way into my heart and trying to rob me again of my joy. But the truth is God knows what is in store. God indeed provides. I love how the Message translation translates that verse from Matthew 6: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (Matthew 6:34, Eugene Peterson’s The Message Translation).”

Those words are difficult words to hear and I believe, are even harder for us to trust in. Yet the truth is that God is a God who provides. God often doesn’t provide in the ways we would like him to provide, but God still provides. God provides especially when the hard things arise. I have seen this so many times through answered prayers. Sometimes God says, “Not yet” or “Maybe” or “Later”  but God always provides and shows us God’s answer. So today I am choosing to cling to Godly fear, the hope found in answered prayers, and Godly grace.

Today I am linking up with Holly for Testimony Tuesday, Kelly for the RaRa Linkup, Jennifer for Tell His Story, and Holley for Coffee for Your Heart: 


 


Tomorrow, Tomorrow, It’s Only A Day Away!

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung on her blog Heading Home. Today’s prompt is “Tomorrow.” Write for five minutes; unedited.

“Tomorrow, Tomorrow, it’s only a day away!” So how many of you are singing along with me and little Miss Annie? I have alwtays loved that movie. And it also reminds me of my younger (I was going to say little but she doesn’t let me call her that anymore) sister Andrea because when she was little my mom, dad, and I called her Annie. She was/is our Annie!

Tomorrow is such a beautiful gift and I am thinking about that especially today. My cousin’s son Jack’s 5th birthday is today. Jack and his sister Maia are spending it in heaven. They didn’t get as many tomorrows as we would have liked for them. My heart aches each and every day for my cousin. Yet I know that God holds our tomorrows in God’s hands.

Sometimes we are happy to see that tomorrow and other times that tomorrow brings about much sadness. I think again of those who went to be with Jesus earlier than they or their families ever expected. I think of dear sweet Kara Tippetts. I think of my friend Renee’s first husband Ben who died in the Haiti earthquake. I think of all of my friends who haven’t been able to hold their children here on this earth. Yet again I trust and know that God holds our tomorrows in God’s hands. “Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5 NRSV).”

I am so thankful that God holds our tomorrows. So now I am going to lay my head upon my pillow, close my eyes, and wake to a new tomorrow. A tomorrow that God holds in God’s hands with all of its joys and all of its sorrows.