Scary Stuff

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What scares you in this world? Lots of things scare me. I have spent much of my life with some fear or another looking around the next corner for the bogeyman. Most of these fears are unfounded and a few are not. It is the ‘what ifs’ that stir up fear. When we get past, ‘What if?’ we need to ask, “What are we afraid of? And what is the true danger?

4“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:4-7

Jesus said these words. He understands fear. The last two years brought back the fears I felt as a young adult. The world shifted under our feet, becoming a more dangerous place. Where others find Bible prophecy exciting and full of promise, I find it terrifying. In my teens, I read the entire bible straight through except for one book. Over the years I started the Book of Revelation several times and have failed to finish it.

I’ve heard it read in pieces, and listened to sermons, teachings and homilies. The terrifying images and prophesied sufferings snatch my breath away. I don’t want this to come to pass. The thought of the suffering makes me want to run away. Usually I ignore it. When it comes to the apocalypse, I am a coward.

What is the problem I wondered while I read the Book of Jeremiah. I find it is that bit of doubt that God would not snatch me away that shakes me to my core. I wonder if He might find me lacking and unworthy. I worry I might make an unforgivable mistake. Was God like my earthly father? Which would mean I would never measure up. Yes, I believed, and still believe, Jesus Christ died for my sins and God loves me, but… there is always a ‘but…’ with me. {Smile} Taking my journey into a full relationship with Him built a stronger faith that now I can read the prophets without rushing to get through the books.

The last two years have been filled with disease, famine, locusts, floods, earthquakes, storms, unrest, war, and a push for a one-world government. The specter of the anti-Christ raises its ugly head again. Revelation and all the prophets cry out in warning. Will we repent and return to God’s way? Will he grant another reprieve? The old fear tugs at my soul. It gripped me behind the mask. Then, I hear His whisper, do not be afraid.

There is nothing to fear in my God. Like any parent whose prince or princess wanders away from the family, God grieves when we choose a different path. What we miss is that despite our failings, he has not forgotten us. I watch friends, acquaintances, and family wander away from faith. My heart breaks for them. I pray they will return. Not to me. This is between them and God. I also pray they will have the time to grow into the Lord.

If you are on the fence about returning to God, maybe this will help. There is only one thing to fear. It is not a virus crisis, economic collapse, loss of family, hatred, prejudice, governments, or even death. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Reading the prophets drives home the fact that none of what we are going through is new. This pattern of turning to sin, distracted by earthly things, judgment prophesied, and returning to God has played out repeatedly through the centuries. Will we ever learn to lean not on our own understanding?1

Finally I understand is nothing to fear except the Holy One, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is the healthy fear we need. The prophets lay out the patterns for us. The scriptures record the consequences of the actions of the nations. Physically, we live with the consequences of our leaders’ earthly decisions.

Ah but, spiritually, we do not live here. My body is only an earthly vessel to be used by God. If a man breaks me physically, it will hurt or even kill me. This is temporary (Temporal). Then my spirit will fly free to be with the one I love. That is forever (Eternal). Here is the big scary question: Who do you want to spend eternity with?

Let’s pray and believe (This prayer based on Hosea Chapter 142):

Our Heavenly Father, we return to You. We stumble in our sins. Please take away our iniquities and receive us in your loving presence. We offer you praise in our song and glorify Your Name, Our Lord. Our leaders will not save us. We no longer exalt ourselves or will say anymore to the work of our hands, “you are our gods.” Father, we now know that in you the fatherless find mercy. You are the one that heals our backsliding, and You love us freely. For You turn Your anger away from us. And like Israel, we return to You so that we may grow like the lily and dwell under Your Shadow and be revived like the grain. Please give us wisdom and prudence to understand and know the ways of the Lord. Your Word tells us: “For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.” Please guide us in your ways that we may walk with you. In Jesus’ Holy Name, amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.

As we walk through the scary stuff again, let us remember we have nothing to fear here in this realm. May the Peace of God soothe your soul today,

Milly

Note: Translation of God’s Word used is the New King James Version.

Footnotes:

1Proverbs 3:5-6:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

6In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

2Hosea Chapter 14:

Israel Restored at Last

1O Israel, return to the Lord your God,

For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;

2Take words with you,

And return to the Lord.

Say to Him,

Take away all iniquity;

Receive us graciously,

For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.

3 Assyria shall not save us,

We will not ride on horses,

Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’

For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”

4“I will heal their backsliding,

I will love them freely,

For My anger has turned away from him.

5I will be like the dew to Israel;

He shall grow like the lily,

And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.

6His branches shall spread;

His beauty shall be like an olive tree,

And his fragrance like Lebanon.

7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;

They shall be revived like grain,

And grow like a vine.

Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

8 “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’

I have heard and observed him.

I am like a green cypress tree;

Your fruit is found in Me.”

9 Who is wise?

Let him understand these things.

Who is prudent?

Let him know them.

For the ways of the Lord are right;

The righteous walk in them,

But transgressors stumble in them.

2 thoughts on “Scary Stuff

  1. I read your post a week ago and I’ve been thinking about it every since.. I love your pictures they seem to represent your story very well. How often I’ve stood behind that tree, just like you, and was even afraid of the shadow that it cast. I’ve been there right with you. I too am learning with you, ” fear not”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi. Gayle. Thank you. The Lord is good to me. His gentle lead on the paths are what we need right now. He will see us through the darkness and no matter what He wins for us. Have a peaceful day in the Lord. Milly.

      Liked by 1 person

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