Sunday, July 29, 2012

FEAR

Being a victim of physical and sexual abuse as a child, I grew up filled with fears of many kinds. I had nightmares on a regular basis for the first 23 years of my life. I was extremely afraid of the dark, the kind of fear that paralyzes you when you try to make a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The kind of fear that makes you struggle to stay awake in the midst of a horrifying dream, only to fall back into that same dream when you can hold your eyes open no longer. The thing about fear is that it compounds and multiplies like a plague. Fear may begin with a seemingly justifiable reason and as it grows and expands, you find yourself doing what the old adage says and "fearing your own shadow". This proved to be true at least a couple of times during my early years. There was the night I had gone to bed as usual with my daddy singing a nighttime lullaby and kissing my cheek before exiting my sister and my bedroom and switching off the light. In a few moments, I was calling out to my big sister for help. There was something in my bed, under the covers. I was petrified! She ran to the light switch and called our Dad back into the room. The covers were thrown back and behold there beside me were my Father's lower dentures! They had fallen out of his shirt pocket as he bent over to apply that goodnight kiss. My fears were dissolved in an instant and the ensuing laughter gave me the best night's sleep I had experienced in some time. Then, there was the time I rolled over in bed and flung something heavy across my body. Again, frozen in fear, I called out to my big sis, "There's something in my bed!" There was such trepidation in my voice, my sister flew across the room with lightening speed to flip on the switch. My own arm had fallen completely asleep and when I turned over, it flopped onto my body like a dead weight. Both of these fear experiences were unfounded no matter how real they seemed as they hit my pyche.
Frightened little girl,
Why can't she tell her story,
So afraid no one will care.
Haunting eyes so full of mystery--
Wouldn't they be surprised.
Oh, the hollow ache so unrelenting
Will she ever be set free.
Frightened little girl now grown.
Will she ever let it be known.
All the horrors deep within her--
Who will unlock the door?
Who will be that one she can trust?
There are many, many verses in the Bible that have to do with fear. I want to focus on a couple of those verses. I believe that fear, when allowed to mature within us, develops into a "spirit of fear". 2 Timothy 1:7, "For the Lord has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I said earlier that I had nightmares for the first 23 years of my life. What changed at that 23 year mark was the discovery of the Love of a Savior, the Savior of all Mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ. As His love flooded in, fear began to flood out. The nightmares began to cease. The fear of the dark began to flee as the Holy Spirit of God began to fill my life and an understanding of the Word of God (the Bible) and the Character of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) took hold of my heart and mind. The "spirit of fear" does not come from a loving Heavenly Father. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to "Be self-controlled and alert (sound minded) because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour." Verse 9 says to "Resist him, standing firm in the Faith..." Faith and fear are at emnity with one another. God does not give us fear but he does give us faith. As we read the Word and daily deepen our relationship with Jesus, we learn that there are abundantly more reasons to "Faith" than to "Fear". The devil is the father of lies and his attack zone is our minds. As we allow Faith to give our minds self-control, we will rise up victorious over any and every experience that comes our way to destroy us. This "frightened little girl" found out who could "unlock the door" and be uncompromisingly "trusted". To avoid making this any lengthier, I will expound on this in a later post. Meanwhile, if you are experiencing fears of any kind, I would encourage a search of the Scriptures. By the way, it has been 40 years since that first 23 so I have had a lot of time to walk in the Healing and Freedom "Faith" can bring. Bless you, my Readers! Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences.