Nail Biting

“Jehoshaphat was afraid & turned his attention to see the Lord & proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”  2Chron 20:3

Being afraid is a universal experience to every human & maybe there are times when we have more or less fear.  But fear is not a rare emotion in our human living.  What we do with fear is more important, in my opinion, than the actual fear.  So when I read about Jehoshaphat being afraid & turning his attention to the Lord, it gives me some good input on what to do with fear.  I’m thinking also that this could be helpful for you too!

Rather than biting your nails, fretting, getting jittery, nervous eating, etc, when we have times or experiences with fear, let’s be certain that our default instinct is to turn our attention to God, remembering that nothing causes God to “bite His nails.”

The Good Side of Fear

“Do it scared!!” I’ve used this mantra on more than one occasion: snowboarding, my first triathlon, meeting important people, various travel experiences, etc. In my early 20s, my dad was massively helpful to me in dealing with fear – coaching me about not letting fear control me or make my decisions.   

I most certainly don’t want to be controlled by fear, but here’s the good part of fear: fear can be helpful to inform us, but debilitating if we let it control us.

In Prov 9:10, it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom & my friend, we need as much wisdom in our lives as we can possibly hold! Let’s allow the fear of the Lord guide our decisions & organize our priorities!

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Being Scared

I pride myself in not being scared. I’m not scared to: 

  • try new things, 
  • go new places, 
  • try different foods, 
  • fail during a learning experience 
  • stand alongside someone when they go through difficult seasons. 

As I think about being scared, generally I think of myself as fearless, until I consider various situations that I avoid because I’m intimidated or afraid. I think that all of us wrestle with fear but in different ways. So let’s be honest about the unique fears that are difficult for us. If we aren’t honest about our fears, such fears will often control our decisions because we refuse to be honest & face them. 

In general, I want to live a fearless life, but the one fear that I want to nurture & protect is the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom & I need all the wisdom I can get! So having a healthy respect for God is an essential ingredient for letting wisdom flourish in my life. 

Furthermore, remember that perfect love casts out fear 🙂

Pay attention to your fears & keep the ones that cultivate wisdom but challenge / toss the ones which try to control & shrink you!

Hot Topic: Donald Trump & the 2016 Election

Politics is a hot spot for many people. Everyone seems to get really lit up about who to vote for, what the candidates say or don’t say, the future of our country, moral underpinnings & HEAPS more. For his part, Donald Trump, has certainly escalated the emotional tone & conflict potential for our upcoming national election. 
My concern for those of us who follow Jesus has many facets:

  • I’m concerned that we will watch & listen to the candidates more than we pray for the election
  • I’m concerned that we allow politics to divide us more than we allow Jesus’ love to unite us
  • I’m concerned that we are deceived to think that human politics can resolve the broken & fallen nature of the human heart

Whether you like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Bernie or whoever, let’s make the commitment to pray for our country & its leadership more than we worry or complain 🙂

Be Not Afraid

Easier said than done, like many things. It’s easy for a person who has fabulous people skills to tell a struggling introvert, “Don’t be afraid!” It’s easy for an expert skier to tell a beginner, “It’s not as steep as it looks, don’t be scared!”
Many years ago I sat on a plane across the aisle from a lady who didn’t travel much. We were on a small commuter plane & the turbulence was fun for me but terrorizing for her. While I was enjoying the roller coaster ride, I saw the color drain from her face & her knuckles get whitey, tighty. I could tell she was getting thoroughly freaked out & I knew she was a hair stylist so I started talking with her about her profession. “What’s your favorite thing to do, cut hair, dye it? What do you most enjoy?” Then I asked how she came to be a hair stylist, who were her favorite clients & why she liked them, etc. 

we had a nice chat while the plane landed. Once I knew we were safely on the ground, I asked if she was ok, she looked outside, saw that we landed & breathed a sigh of relief. Then she realized what I’d done, distracting her from being afraid with our pleasant & engaging conversation. 

I think the Holy Spirit wants to be this for us with things that make us afraid, talking us throughout success & overcoming 🙂