It's confession time again...I used to be a control freak. Not that I don't still fall back into past patterns, but God has opened my eyes to why I tried to control things and why I don't have to anymore.
What drives the need to have to be in control? Insecurity, yes...I doubted my own ability to handle difficult situations. Worry then became my constant companion. But what drives a person to have contingency plans A-Z? I'm afraid it's the four letter "F" word - FEAR.
Fear results when we place our confidence in ourselves instead of in God.
And, since I didn't have a lot of confidence in myself, I lived as a very fearful person and that's no way to live. I know, however, that I am not alone. Most of us live with some degree of fear. This world can be a hard and scary place a lot of the time. God knows our frame - he knows that we are going to have fear. That's why there are more than 300 scriptures in the Bible on fear. God put them there, not so we will go on a guilt trip for having fear, but for reassurance when we do (and we will) face fear.
Sometimes when I get overwhelmed and fearful, I forget just how big God is.
That's when I turn to scripture to remind myself just how big God is. The Creator who spoke the world, the oceans and the stars, into being; the One who knows the exact number of hairs on my head loves me beyond measure and is bigger than my fears!
If God is for us (me/you) who can be against us (me/you)? (Romans 8:31)
The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
God is not only bigger and stronger than our fears, He takes it several steps further and promises to get rid of what we fear and will fight for us when we do fear.
What are we to do with our fears? Turn them over to God...why? Because God IS love. And what does Love do? It casts out fear. If I hand over my fears to God and not try to handle them myself, what does He promise?
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)
When I was in the sixth grade, I was tall for my age. People may find that hard to believe since I'm a whopping 5 ft. 3" now. I just stopped growing after that point. I vividly remember being on the playground and this one boy (bully) was tormenting my friend who was much smaller than me. I'm not quite sure what came over this usually mild mannered young thing with braids, but I walked up to the boy; told him to stop teasing my friend and then I did it...I decked him. Yep, laid him out flat on his back. Of course I was immediately whisked off to the principal's office, but the mama bear instinct just rose up in me and I wasn't going to let someone I cared about be treated that way.
We are created in God's image and that's how He cares about us. He will fight for us if we will let him.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
Personally, the image that brings me the most comfort when I am fearful, is the one found in Psalm 23. I picture myself as the lamb being nestled in Christ's strong, yet loving arms. He's holding me safe - close to His heart. I don't have to do anything but just be in His presence. There is no expectation, no condemnation and He understands what I am going through.
As sheep we are prone to wander. Sheep don't have any natural defenses like the quills of the porcupine or poisonous venom or sharp teeth and claws. Basically, on their own, sheep are toast.
The Good Shepherd goes to great lengths to protect his sheep. Sheep are skittish, fearful animals. The Shepherd calms those fears; makes them to lie down and rest; makes calm pools in running water so that they can drink. His rod and staff protect the sheep and He will put His life in danger to protect His flock.
My soul ultimately finds reassurance that God and I are super-glued together. Nothing...NOTHING...can separate me from His love.
For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, not anything else in all creation will be able to separate us (me) from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 38-39)
That's one "neither" and nine "nors" for a perfect score of ten. Fear not - easier said than done, but thanks to God's merciful intervening, not impossible! God is ultimately the one in control and His plan for us is good!
ps. Just a reminder that if you are reading this blog, I continue to lift you up in prayer every morning and every evening. May you be blessed!