Have you ever felt afraid? You know, when your shirt sticks to you with sudden sweat, your heart thunders in your chest, and an over-riding feeling to just get out? Yeah, that. It’s fear, which the dictionary defines as an “unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” When our body reacts to fear, it is a physiological response (fight or flight) to the perceived threat. You believe you are in danger. Fear, then, is simply a response to the unknown.
I have been afraid. No, not just afraid, but truly fearful. The kind that shatters the bones and stops the world in its orbit. The last time I truly felt afraid was a year and a half ago.
On her way home, Patricia, my step-daughter, came upon an accident on Walnut Street and found a young man lying in the middle of the road, motorcycle on its side. With dawning horror she realized it was Will, her brother and my son.
She immediately called me and, heart thundering in my ears, I rushed out the door. My heart was pounding, my mind making up a thousand scenarios. I remember repeatedly begging God to take care of my son and not to take him home yet. You see, Will and I were just rebuilding our relationship. Things had been pretty rocky between us but we made it through. I just didn’t want to lose something so precious that God was orchestrating for us.
I arrived to flashing lights and screaming sirens. Patricia was on the side of the road crying, holding my granddaughter Evie tightly. I absolutely lost it at that point. Deep, soul shattering sobs came out of me. I hadn’t even seen my son yet. As a police officer approached me, I could hear Will crying out for me. For his mom. Asking to be forgiven for being in an accident. I couldn’t even breathe; fear and joy were intermingled. I believe to this day that God had His hand on Will that day. After an ambulance trip to the hospital to be checked out, he was able to come home later in the evening. He suffered no broken bones just some bruising. His motorcycle was completely crushed from the truck that ran its stop sign. God is good and I believe He has great things in store for Will.
Knowing what fear feels like, having experiencing it’s soul shattering grip, it’s very hard for me to come to terms with the idea that I need to fear God. My heart absolutely bursts with love for my Creator. Why should I ever have to fear the one who knows every hair on my head and is the maker of the stars? The idea, seemingly, is ludicrous. It is even stated throughout the Bible to fear God. So what does fearing God really mean?
It’s not the way we perceive fear from a human perspective. Simply put, fearing God means to respect Him and his authority over our lives. It is the beginning of true wisdom to enlighten us. When we surrender this authority to God, we are inviting His love to enter our lives. This means being obedient to the Word of God. It’s written 365 times in the Bible not to be afraid. To have human fear. Rather we are to fear God, for He knows the plans He has in store for us.
Deuteronomy 10:12 states
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in away that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul.
Our emotions can run wild especially when it comes to fear. We often misinterpret our feelings and what God wants for us as we are growing in Christ. The Bible gives many practical examples of how we can live our lives out loud for Jesus. His doctrine is as true today as it was when He walked this earth. This month our sermon series will be focusing on how you can apply the Bible to everyday living. Won’t you come join us? Services are at 9 am and 11 am!