Do not be afraid

I’ve been delving into scripture on the topic of fearI’ve always wondered what the difference was between a general fear (that is not positive) and the fear of the Lord (which is positive). Right now I’m looking through the verses where God tells people not to fear. I’ve only gotten through a few O.T. books so far, and already there are a number of them:

Genesis 15:1 “After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.'”

Genesis 21:17 “God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there.”

Genesis 26:24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I hate that fear is my immediate, intense reaction to anything unknown. The instinct that sucks the breath out of me and paralyzes my heart for one brief, agonizing second. I want to trust and have wonder and awe of God’s plan for my life, but I seem stuck in this cycle. The fear is too strong. Or rather, I have let the fear become too strong.

But in these verses, God tells these people not to be afraid, like it’s easy, something they have control over. And the reason that they should not be afraid is that God is with them.

Is it that easy?

Perfect love casts out fear.

I believe that God’s word is true and that He is the same God now as He was then. His command to me not to fear is one that I, too, can obey, because He is within me.

God produces the faith in me that confronts and completely overcomes the fear. He reminds me to fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. This is what enables me to break the cycle and follow His winding path. To move past the crippling and soar with the wings of eagles. To overcome the paralysis and walk forward with firm, trusting steps.

Some days I write poetry
Other days I don’t.

Some days the words run into my arms
Bouncing with glee
And I lay them down in neat rows,
Perfect paragraphs.

Some days the words hide from me
Refusing my summons
And my thoughts sound stilted,
Stupid on the page.

Written after over a year of poetic silence.

Re-charted

I’m learning that nothing ever goes exactly the way I plan it. Nothing.

There’s always some part of the plan that doesn’t work, has to change slightly, or that God simply re-designs. It can be a frustrating thought to always feel thwarted in such a way, but I’m realizing frustration isn’t the answer. I have to learn to bend with the wind of God’s providence, even as I set my course for the next destination. It’s an adventure, really.
"Re-charted" at www.rachelsbecoming.wordpress.comAnd I always find that the twists and turns He guides me through yield more blessings than the narrow path I plot.

 

It isn’t only…

This is one of my favorite quotes from the beginning of my favorite book I’m currently reading. The book is called “A Million Little Ways: Uncover the art you were made to live” by Emily P. Freeman. In it she calls all of us, no matter who we are, to create art with our lives as an expression of Christ in us. Enjoy this tidbit of her poetic writing, and consider for yourself what it means to live your life as God’s masterpiece of artwork.

It isn’t only the painters who are allowed to be expressive, it isn’t only the musicians who can touch our souls, it isn’t only the novelists who inspire us to dream.

Have you noticed how God does things?

Have you considered the way he colors the sky? Or the smallest details in the blades of grass or grains of sand beneath your feet?

Is he only a God of right answers and right angles and acceptable behavior? Have we exalted the will of God and the plans of God above God himself?

He does not manage us, to-do us, or bullet-point us. He loves us. Is with us. And believing him feels impossible, until we do, like a miracle, like lukewarm water turning merlot red right there in the cup. And hope sprouts new, because God doesn’t give us a list. He invites us into the story.

Quote by Emily P Freeman at www.rachelsbecoming.wordpress.com

I am so blessed

I wrote this in my journal this morning, and it made a tired/grumpy/bla kind of day into a joyful/excited/peaceful one. It’s amazing how when you focus on the specific blessings – even the little ones like the ability to text a friend – you open yourself up to the beauty of the life that is already in front of you.


God has really blessed me exactly where I am right now. I have graduated college with a degree and career I love, I have a welcoming home where I can stay as long as I need, my own car without debt, minimal amount of loans to pay off from school, the strong possibility of a summer nannying job for a great kid, the opportunity to be in three of my friends’ weddings this summer, two wonderful friends who live within 10 minutes of my house, and many more who skype and text me to keep in my life, a great piano business I’m starting up that I am proud of and passionate about, a CD that I have waited for so long to make, the ability to go anywhere, do anything, be anyone I want. I have an amazing set of relationships with each of the people in my life, and I’m learning how to be a freer, more joyful person.

I do not need to strive and worry and wait passively for my life to start. God has made my life beautiful right now, and I am content.