“We admitted to each other that I’m too afraid to let him go out without me, in case he has another heart attack, and he’s too afraid to let me out alone, in case I have another stroke”.
This was spoken last week by a good friend of mine, part of a husband and wife team whom I know as energetic DIY builders, gardeners, grandparents and enthusiastic leaders within their local church and local area. Recently, they have each had health issues. And the result, as this rather hollow joke betrayed, is that now each has a fear of the future.
It’s one thing to be wise about how we behave and treat our bodies. It may be very wise to make sure you have a mobile with you in case of emergency, for instance, or be wise about how much you do or what strain you put yourself under. But a wise precautionary fear can become a gripping fear that, if unrecognised, can grow into a paralysing fear. And gripping paralysing fear is not from God!
Look at the verses I’ve quoted above. What a promise here for being fruitful, fresh and vibrant, knowing God and flourishing into old age! That fruitfulness, I believe, comes out of a place of trusting God with our future and our fears.
I had to learn this several years ago after my mother died with dementia. At the time, I was in a responsible demanding job and everything was fine for me but … somewhere deep underneath my skin, somewhere deep inside the core of me, a nasty nagging fear began to take root. Just little by little. But it was there.
Like an insignificant weed spreading on a green lawn, fear took root. There it stayed until one day, on a course about fear, I asked God to show me any fears that I hadn’t brought to Him. There I was able to deal with it and be set free from that fear.
I’m God’s kid. If you belong to him, you’re God’s kid. He doesn’t let us go. He keeps us safe.
Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You that You are a loving, caring, protecting and infinitely safe Father who knows everything about me, including all my future and all my fears. Will You show me any fears that I am hanging on to and help me to release them all to You so that I may know Your freedom and Your peace. Amen.
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