Thursday, March 7, 2013

When I Bow to Fear

Because God has been up on that mountain just a little too long.
 
And it is lonely. In this wilderness.
 
And those Baals. They just make it so easy.
 
 
To fall away.
 
It takes just about a second of God's perceived absence and I bow down to the baals around me. I'm a stubborn people. I'm Israel. I attribute my gifts, triumphs, my very survival to the gods of my ego. It's not until I collapse in a heap of frustrated tears and biting words that I ask myself, Who delivered you from your slavery? Your doubt? Your fear? Your self?
 
 
No. It was God alone.
 
 
So God and I have these little conversations. They are never angry or cruel- at least not from God's end. He is so very patient with this wanderer. These frequent conversations may appear over the span the next few weeks, partly because baals of my own invention crop up every day, but more so because God's blessings are unnumbered. His mercies are new every morning. And because maybe you too have your own baals, and your own conversations...
 
----
 
When I bow down to fear...
 
It's not that I have a clinical phobia or anything, though I readily admit I can't handle spiders. At all.
 
 
It's just this fear that goes unrealized throughout most of my days. It's the fear that maybe I'm doing this whole "life" thing wrong, and perhaps God doesn't really understand the gravity of the situation.
 
 
I try to handle it like they say I should. I say:
 
 
God, I know I should believe in myself. I know I am stronger than I think I am.
That's what they tell me at least.
 
Just the fact that for even a moment you thought you could handle this on your own, without Me, proves the opposite is true. You do not underestimate your capabilities. You overestimate them.

 
The One you underestimate is Me.
 
 
Ouch.
 
 
Lauren, I created you to be like Me. Not to be Me. You are dust.
 
 
Believe me, I know that is true.
 
 
But you forget.
 
 
I know, Lord. And I am so so sorry. I'll never forget again. Please. I never want to forget again.
 
 
Never?
 
 
Never.
 
 
You will, you know.
 
 
I know.
 
 
I know that too.
 
 
You won't give up on me though... will You?
 
 
Who am I, Lauren?

 
I AM the One who stretched out the heavens.
Who spread the waters.
Who filled the earth.
Who created your first father and first mother,
and every father and mother and brother and sister and child after that.
And who still takes care of them? Who takes care of you?

 
You have read with your own eyes.

 
I AM the One who parts the waters.
Who calms the seas.
Who sends the fiery chariots.
Who protects the Nile's basket case.

 
O ye...
 
 
... "of little faith." I know.
 
 
Lauren.
Look around you.
Why do you doubt Me?
 
 
Because I am looking around me, Lord. Every day I am blindsided by more bad news.
Every. Day. It's too much.
 
 
Too much for me?
 
 
(I'd rather not answer that one.)

 
I AM the Alpha and Omega. Who will be here when all is said and done? Who?

 
Who cares for the abandoned?
For the fatherless?
The motherless?
The sick? The dying?
Does anything escape Me? My heart?

 
I AM the God who follows through.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

 
I AM the God who longs for His rebellious children.
How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Matthew 23:37

 
I AM the God who loves lavishly.
And from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. John 1:16

 
I AM the God who chooses to dwell in you.
16 Do you not know that you are God's temple
and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
 
 
I AM the Ressurection and the Life.
I AM the living water that quenches forever.
I AM the Door for the sheep.
 
 
I AM the God who takes the people who were not a people, and makes them My people.

 
Mine.

 
I AM the God who removes hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh. I've done it before and I will do it again. And again.
 
 
I'm so sorry.
 
 
I know you are, Child. You are forgiven. And don't think for a moment that I grow angry or weary of reminding You who I am. It is for Your sake that I do.

 
Because I love you.

 
I AM FAITHFUL.

 
Do not be afraid.

 
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

 
(In these conversations I am thankful that God brings to my mind verse after verse of His faithfulness. If you are looking for verses in the midst of your wilderness fears, or if He has brought one to your mind and you would like to share, please leave a comment.)