What are you listening to? Fear or Faith?

When I was a little girl, my dad would tell us a story about Red Eyes and Bloody Bones. This story would often be told around a campfire or as we navigated the hills and curves of country roads at night. I recall the angst one night as he turned off the car’s headlights at just the right time, so we could see the taillights of another vehicle a half mile up the road. The story can still make me squirm, and I know it’s make-believe!

One night, when my children were old enough, they too were introduced to this scary tale during a slumber party at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. My son knew it was just a pretend story, he remained strong and courageous throughout the tale. My daughter, however, was fearful. Why did their reactions differ? My daughter let her imagination run wild, losing all sight of the fact it was a made-up story.

Some of our fear and anxiety is natural and appropriate, rational. For example, our fears can keep us safe when danger is present. We may experience fear when doing something outside of our comfort zone. While irrational fears, like my daughter’s runaway imagination. It’s a fear held in the future that can grip us so tight that movement forward is nearly impossible.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often moved forward afraid. I may be putting one foot in front of the other, but there was a whole heap of fear behind it. Forcing myself to go, full of doubt and questioning. The story I was telling myself, and believing, lacked all confidence and faith. Faith in God, others or myself.

Currently, I’m reading Louie Giglio’s book “Goliath Must Fall”. (Just a short way in, but I highly recommend it!) In his book Louie says, “The antidote to fear is faith. And the soundtrack of faith, is worship.” (pg.59) That statement is truth.

A couple weeks ago, our daughter was very sick. At the peak of her illness, I began to let fear grip my heart. And having the two girls alone together, who’s imaginations tend to run wild, was not exactly the best thing. Let me tell you, I’m embarrassed to say I went to a dark place real quick. But in an effort to calm her, I turned on some worship music. It changed the atmosphere. Prayer and worship washed over my heart too. We were both able to wrangle ourselves from the grip of fear, and into a place of faith and trust in God. We were both reminded that we are beloved daughters of The Healer.

We can choose to live in fear from so much in this fallen world. Especially when it’s hard to wrap our brains and hearts around the atrocities of school shootings, the seemingly unfair death of loved ones, and rampant addiction. It’s hard when we feel helpless, or hopeless, but we are not. We can choose to worship, playing the soundtrack of faith. We can choose to trust God’s sovereignty over all, and walk in faith. We can choose to be a light to those around us, sharing the love of God in the simplest form of a smile, acknowledging to others that they are seen.

What soundtrack are you listening to right now? Is it one of fear filled with lies, or is if one of faith and worship?

hanny-naibaho-305672
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (ESV) Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash
Advertisements

Rest

Does it ever seem as though life were flying by, yet standing stone still – all at the same time? Between sickness and unexpected events in our home, that’s what these past two weeks have been like. Where did these two weeks go? But amongst the crazy, we also experienced some deep rest. (Lots of snuggling up to my sick little lady, while praying she doesn’t share.) God has been speaking (though not audibly) so many things to my heart during this time. One of which has been – Rest.

What do you think of when you hear the word rest? Is it a rare novelty? Unattainable? Is rest somewhat of a forced Biblical command, one you feel obliged to respect once a week? Or perhaps rest is a reward, as if it were earned? A necessary evil? Or maybe, by the grace of God you are a “Rest in the Lord” Rock Star!

I understand that the Sabbath is something God commands of us, it is necessary and good. As this season of life gets fuller and fuller, for me, rest seems to be something that I need and desire to build in to our life. We need margin to breathe. If we are not mindful, that margin slips awfully fast. My kids need to have down time, where there are no expectations, time to simply be. Me too. Over the past few years I’ve gotten better about it, resting. It doesn’t look the same each week, or even each day. But it’s something I now place a much higher value on.

An interesting observation about rest was recently brought to my attention. In the creation story, Adam was created on the sixth day. The very next day he rested, with God. Adam didn’t work and then earn his day of rest, that was the first thing he did! There wasn’t anything man or woman had to do in order to earn rest, it was a gift. A Sabbath gift, to rest with God. Time to simply be, and be in relationship with Him. Time to worship and get to know the Creator.

If we are not careful, rest is a gift that often goes unwrapped. It’s an invitation to be still and know, to trust, and to honor God. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” (AMP) This gift of rest, being still before God, is at the heart of His desire for personal relationship with us. I believe God’s first love language may be quality time.

What does rest in the Lord look like for you?

aaron-burden-238711
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash