Sometimes we face a deep unknown. And time stands still in so many ways, until we take that first, tentative step into it. I was thinking about this as I prepared to delve into my world of medical bills. It’s so fun (*sarcasm alert*), trying to reconcile who is billing you for what, and what your insurance has paid, and if you are paying too much. The pile was large and our budget is small, and so I was intimated. Once everything was done, it was not as bad as I had originally thought. And my husband said to me, “Sometimes we need to just do it and we will find out it’s not so bad.” There is a lot of wisdom in that. (Another reason I am blessed to be married to that man!).
“We associate fear with danger because that is how our body interacts with our God given motivation for self preservation. When we go into a dark room, we might sense fear, especially if we are apprehensive about the dark, but that does not mean that there actually is a danger. It only means that there is an unknown, and that unknown can breed fear – fear of the unknown. To fight the fear of the unknown, counteract it with faith based on the known – the known will of God.” (Scriptures Against Fear at HopeFaithPrayer.com)
“The fear of man brings a snare: but who puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 25:29
There are many things in life we fear, and often our fear ‘gets the best of us’ because we have no place to hang on to, no firm foundation beneath us. For me, I often fear my security of having a certain bank balance scare me from taking care of things in a more timely matter. Quite often, I will also put up with aches and pains because I fear doctor’s bills, and some horrid diagnosis. Usually, once that is faced, it melts into nothing and I realize I created my own fear, my own unease, my own insecurity. When I wake at night in a sweat, freaking out over some unknown thing, I try to pray and drink some warm milk.
Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives is a book I quote from often and to be honest, it is truly one of those books that fundamentally changed how I think and how I look at things. But I am also very human, and I forget the adages; I fail to remember the comfort found in Elder Thaddeus’ words; I forget to read Scripture to ease my mind. And so I create my own sort of hell…one solely made in my head, but which affects everything and everyone around me. I project my fears, or my hell, into all that I do. I can motivate others to a higher good, or I can welcome them to wallow in my grit and grime. But that is not God’s call to me, and that is what I need to listen to. Not my fears or worries or concerns, but God’s call to me.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
I am working at starting some new things. And it feels like that stack of medical bills…in that it is a large undertaking and my “budget” (in this case my self-confidence) is a little lacking. And for those who read this post and know me well, they will find that humorous. I’ve never been known to shirk or avoid diving into anything. First one off a cliff or first one to share in a group…that’s me! But as I get older, I find myself being discouraged more often. “Is this worth the effort?” “Do I really want new (and more) drama in my life?” “Is this the right thing to do?” “Will my actions even help?” Those are all skittering through my head. And I know that I can help and can make a difference, but I am also at the point of being a part of that same 10% who is always “doing things” in any organized group – and it does get sort of old. Ha-Ha! Always being in that small group of people who dig in and get it done, and not one of those who is unknown by the group at large and contributes little, gets tiring – honestly. There are some other, amazing people, with so many gifts to offer, who do nothing. And that is perhaps out of a place of fear, or lack of self-confidence. I sure wish I could somehow motivate them to become leaders, too.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I know I have a firm foundation in my faith. I have gone through so much to become a comfortable Melkite Greek Catholic. I don’t feel any burning to explore further; I have found my spiritual home. Although my journey of faith has been convoluted and rocky, often off the path to God completely, I am at a place in my life where I am comfortable with what I believe, with what I know, and I feel like my foundation in this, my faith, grounds me. As it said in Timothy above, God has given us power and a sound mind, and in Romans we are told that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” I need to rest in those promises more often, not fearing to launch into new things, based on faith.
And so I am determined to gird my loins (Ephesians) and prepare to wade into some rough waters, wearing the full Armor of God, and I know that God is with me, “for your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23). I will pray and ask God for comfort, strength, and soundness of heart, soul, and mind. It is His call I will heed, laying aside my own fears, and resting in His promises and His grace. I am blessed.