In my living room right now is a huge poster my small group made last semester listing everything we fear. Some of them are irrational fears like mice, wet paper, spiders, germs (ok, that was mine), fire (that's mine, too)... However, some of them legitimate, colossal fears like dying young, unintentionally pushing people away from God, accidentally killing a patient, rejection, failure, car accidents,not having what we need, running out of time, etc.
Since we've made that poster, I've come to realize that a lot of these fears control my life. I am slowly learning to let them go. Our current Sunday School study entitled "Fearless: Imagine A Life Without Fear" is helping a lot.
Today we discussed the fear of running out. What? We listed things we can run out of: gas, time, energy, and even hope. I didn't think this really applied to me until I was standing in Wal-mart an hour later with a case of water in my arms. I still had a two-gallon of water in my apartment (not to mention tap water but I think it tastes gross and has black floating things it in) but there I was buying more water. Unintentionally, I always ration my water, especially when I'm driving. I always leave one last schluck in the bottle until I arrive wherever I'm going. What if I get really thirsty before I get to my destination? What if I start hacking up a lung and don't have any water?
The fear of running out.
Worry. That's the root of this fear. Being concerned about something without considering God's involvement. Honestly, I don't think God's going to let me choke to death on air before I arrive unless that's His plan for me. Maybe it is. I don't know, but I can't spend my time worrying about it.
Matt showed us a variety of other ways to deal with our fears:
1. Pray first- 1 Peter 5:7, first means before anything else
2. Easy now- Psalm 37:7, take it to Jesus and be specific
3. Act on it- treat it like mosquito that lands on your arm.
4. Compile a worry list- look at them again next week. How many were really as big of a deal as you though?
5. Evaluate- do you see any themes appearing?
6. Focus on today- Hebrews 4:16, one day at a time
7. Unleash a worry army- let others share in your concerns and pray with you
8. Let God be enough- Matthew 6:32-33, even if you run out of everything else, He is there
That spells out:
Be peaceful instead of worrying.
Go to God instead of being consumed by fear, even if you can't form a complete sentence. It happens. "God. Scared. Help!" will work.
"I will fear not evil." - Psalm 23:4b
Go in peace and serve the Lord,