It’s fear that comes first for me.
Recently I was looking over my calendar for February. Right there, written on the last Monday of the month- “mammogram at 8am.”
I froze in my tracks. I’d forgotten all about the six month follow up. My mind quickly spiraled toward the worse case scenario.
I had a terrible scare last time I was there.
The doctor saw something she didn’t like. They called me back for a second round. I waited in a small room until they called me into the doctor’s office. She showed me the scans. There was a white spec she didn’t expect, one that hadn’t appeared on my scan before. I held my breath. I didn’t hear anything she said until, “I think it’s just calcification. We’ll bring you back in 6 months just to confirm it.”
My mind can go wild with the slightest bit of antagonizing.
As I began to fall down the rabbit hole of worry, I caught myself.
I said out loud-
“No. I’m not going to go there. I’m not going to put those thoughts into the universe. I’m not going to give this thing legs.”
“Fear not” is the most repeated phrase in the Bible.
Some say “It’s there 365 times, once for each day of the year.”
I haven’t opened up a particular translation and counted but I know it’s a lot.
Why? Why would God want to nip fear in the bud like that?
Fear is a natural response, isn’t it?
It seems fear is a innate human reaction, one that has helped our species navigate and survive. One that prompts the “fight or flight” reaction in threatening situations. One that causes people, in life or death circumstances, to have super hero strength through high cortisol levels.
I don’t think fear itself is the culprit for me.
I think holding onto the fear is where I begin to suffer.
As I prayed my way through my own fear this weekend, I realized why.
Evil feeds on fear.
The enemy (if you are open to thinking of it that way) sees my fear as a giant buffet.
When I hold onto my fear instead of giving it to God, I’m setting a seat at my table for the enemy to come pig out. I’m inviting all the minions to have a gluttonous, drunken brawl in the privacy of my psyche, on my tab.
Not a pretty party.
But it is a pity party.
This feast is where my fear mutates into anxiety.
When I harbor the fear… When I hold it too tightly… When I go about prioritizing fear like it’sthe thing I put my trust in… When I let fear consume more of my mental real estate than God…
I experience full blown anxiety.
And my anxiety increases over the same issue.
Why? Why does my anxiety get worse when the original fear itself is the same one?
Because when I invite fear to linger, it draws flies. Those flies produce maggots. The now rotting fear multiplies and becomes poisonous to my life.
What if I have way more control over the poison than I assume?
What if, instead of laying out that nasty gauntlet for the enemy, I give my fear to God?
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:7-8 (NLT)
What if, when the fear first comes, I say to God, “I trust you with this.”
Lord, I trust You will work this out, whether it’s the way I assume it should work out or not.
“Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36 (NLT)
And what if I just keep doing that.
As many times as it takes?
I don’t have to be a victim.
My life does not have to be ruled by anxiety.
I have the power to stand up for myself.
I’ve given you true authority… You can walk all over the power of the enemy.
Luke 10:19 The Voice
When the enemy wants to feast on fear in my dojo…
I can stand up and say,
” Aw, Hell no.”
Anxiety is my signal.
When I’m anxious, it’s a sure sign I’m holding onto a fear of some sort. A fear God will take from me as I trust God to do so.
The thing is…
Fear will come.
But fear does not have to stay.
Anxiety can be kept away.
I can choose whether or not I will set the buffet.
Are you dealing with anxiety?
And don’t call it “general.”
There’s a root fear you’re holding too near.
Cast it upon God.
Because God cares for you.
And because you have so much more power than you realize.
Categorized in: purpose