Day 9 of
When you go through difficult, bomb exploding, experiences or even little frustrating scenarios, clinging to hope is usually not the first course of action. At least it's not mine No matter how many times God has proven himself faithful and no matter how many times after I've tried things on my own and then gone to him only to have almost immediate peace come over me, no matter how many times I learn that clinging to the hope he provides trumps all other things, it's still not my first action.
This is a historical problem, and not just in my history, the history of people in general. If you want a key example go read Exodus. God delivered His people from slavery, like Pharoah finally said ok you can leave and then they hit water and immediately freaked out. Then God parted the sea, like took the massive amounts of water and turned them into walls with dry ground below. A day or two went by and they're walking through the desert and get hungry and freak out again. God drops food FROM THE SKY mind you to sustain them and they are so worried that he won't provide that they store it up after being specifically told not to. And so on and so forth. Do you see the pattern?
Choosing to not cling to the Hope God provides has nothing to do with God and His provision. He has proven himself faithful time and again and will continue to do so for now and forever because that is who He is. The problem is us and the things we choose to cling to instead or the things we let block our way. For the next three days I'm going to share about three different things that we place in front of Hope. The first is Fear.
I know in this world there are people who struggle with this a great deal, to the debilitating degree even, who need help that goes way beyond a reminder but I am not certified to talk for those people. I am stopping for a moment here and pray for them though. Would you join me?
I am talking to myself and other people whose fear is not the result of illness but a simple result of the sin nature within their heart. Of those people I ,at a different time in my life, was one of the most fearful that I know. It still amazes Zach, my husband, sometimes when I try to describe to him the fears that run through my mind and end up connecting with each other in a big massive chaotic Atlanta type interstate disaster way. 75, 85 and spaghetti junction have nothing on the way my thoughts and fears can get entangled.
Without even trying too hard I came up with this list.
talking in front of people
singing in front of people
climbing up high places
looking out from high places
falling from high places
someone breaking in
my husband getting in a car wreck on the way home from work
losing my husband or children
being alone in a public restroom
walking in the woods at night
going in a bank instead of the drive thru
scary movies, like so bad that a boyfriend in high school broke up with me because I freaked out about one so much
coming across the wrong way
hurting someone's feelings
making someone mad
taking off in an airplane
crashing in an airplane
leaving my children behind with no parents
I'm sure I could keep going but let's just leave it at that.
Fear comes when we don't trust things will stay, when we're afraid that something we have will disappear. When I look at my list it's easy to see what I'm afraid I will lose. I can take all of those 'fears' and categorize them into losing my family, my reputation, my comfort, and my life.
It is easy for us to let fear take over and push hope out but fear is not from God, He did NOT give us a Spirit of fear but of power, and of love and of a sound mind ( 2 Tim 1:7) His perfect love casts out those fears (1 John 4:18)
So while, unfortunately, clinging to hope is still not my first action, God in all his patience and steadfast love is continuing to show me the things I let block my way to Him and reminding me that Hope is right there to cling to instead.