Kingdom Living

No Fear

I have struggled with fear or worry on some level for a long time. Unfortunately it has been an influencing force in me far too often. In fact, I have for much of my life thought that around this time of year, fear seems to take the mountain and rule unchecked (any fellow “fraidy-cats” like me?) The other day my daughter asked out of the blue if more kidnappings take place on Halloween. I had to think for a minute about why she could possibly be asking that question and then I realized: this is fear creeping into her mind. So we talked about it – two people prone to fear over faith.

I asked both of my kids to think about what amazing, seemingly impossible things had God done for them. We listed out several things from successes with school, to health and the provision of free things that we didn’t expect to get (a lesson on grace for another time).

We also thought about numerous examples in the Bible of amazing things that God did in impossible or terrifying circumstances: Sarah got pregnant at an impossible age, the Red Sea was parted so Israel could escape Egypt, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo survived the fiery furnace, Daniel came face-to-face with hungry lions and didn’t have a scratch, Noah’s family survived a world-wide flood, David faced a real giant and won…so many examples of the strength and protection of God!


I wonder if Jesus was thinking about these demonstrations of God’s might throughout Israel’s history when he was defying fear and napping in the middle of a hair-raising storm? Mark 4:37-40 recounts the story of Jesus sleeping in a boat about to be capsized. The disciples were terrified. Their imaginations were most likely running wild with tales of sea monsters that could swallow them whole! They thought they had every reason to be afraid. Yet, here was Jesus completely unafraid, in fact, he wasn’t even awake! Jesus surely knew all the same stories – how is it he could sleep so soundly? What the disciples apparently forgot was the fuel of their faith. Jesus knew who held them: the Almighty Creator, the Father, The Great ‘I Am’. Jesus knew the One who had defied physics (because He created physics) and parted the Red Sea. He knew the One who prevented three men from being burned alive. He knew the One who told the giant fish to spit Jonah out on shore. With a God this mighty who loved them, what horrifying thing could possibly happen to them that would render Him unable to take care of them?  Jesus knew that even in death He still could trust God and place his hope firmly in His Father’s love and sovereignty.


As I think back to this conversation with my kids about this “scary” time of year in light of what Jesus has taught me, it doesn’t seem so scary any more. What is there really to fear? There are certainly some ugly images that can fill our minds with frightful thoughts perhaps much like those the disciples had in that storm. But all of those frightful thoughts are just a noisy storm stirred up in the absence of love. Love does not create or perpetuate fear. In fact, perfect love drives fear away. That is why Jesus could rest and defy fear – He was secure in the knowledge of God’s perfect love for them. This is real faith. That same love is ours as well.

We don’t need to hide in fear or run away from a world that seems to emphasize fear at this time of year. We know the same Almighty God that gave Jesus the power to make the terrifying storm instantly still to silence! The love the Father has for us is the same love. The confidence He gave Jesus to sleep in the midst of disaster and the power to instantly still the storm is ours as well. We can confidently walk through crowds of “scary” faces and neighborhoods of haunted houses defying fear just like Jesus and instead carrying peace, the light of Christ, and the love of God to everyone we meet. We have no reason to fear because the Father, who’s hand we hold, loves us perfectly and completely. Out of His perfect love comes all that we need in order to stand firm, unafraid, as lights in the darkness.


I Don’t Know What to Do

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons;
He removes kings and sets up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the understanding;
He reveals deep and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.
– Daniel 2:20-22


Knock. Knock.

“Daddy? It’s me, Sarah. You know, the prideful one? I know you saw me trying to figure these things out by myself. I know I told you I thought I already knew your answer. But, Daddy… I need help.  It turns out, I don’t really know the answers, well not most of them anyway, and I’m still stuck. Can you help me? Again. Please?”

I hear my Father whisper from behind me (Is. 30:21) “I am so glad you asked. Of course I will help you. Lets start with remembering what I’ve told you.”


There have been a couple of tough situations for me this past few weeks – one involving how in the world I’m going to help my kids grow in grace and in faith through difficult and challenging times as they age, and the other involving how I’m supposed to grow and get into new opportunities in my career and/or my calling. I don’t feel like I have the answers to either one of these challenges at this point, but I had thought many times that I knew the “right” answers.

There was an opportunity at work that came up that sounded like a perfect fit for me, and it basically just fell into my lap! I didn’t even know the opportunity existed, but someone had asked for me to participate by name. I don’t even know this person and at first I was so taken aback and really humbled as I thought “The only way this could be happening is God!” For me, this was an honorable thing to have happen to me and the fact I wasn’t seeking self-promotion seemed to me like it came about the “right” way – as “God ordained”. Unfortunately, the next day I heard the opposite and that I wasn’t top of mind for the person or people who were actually making the call. Talk about a crusher! And talk about confusing! Wasn’t this from God? Didn’t I already talk to God about this the prior day and ask if it was from Him and give Him the glory for setting it in my lap?

Hm…wait a minute. I didn’t really wait for God to respond. I “knew” the “right” answer. According to who?


According to me: whenever something happens that’s good, that I didn’t go seeking, that always means its from God…


As I reflected on this and worked on memorizing Daniel 2:20-22 (which I chose to memorize long before this situation came up) I saw some words leap out at me

HE removes … and sets up kings…”

If God can (and does) set kings in place, how much more is He able to put me in the places I need to be? As I’m remembering this too, there is a story right around Daniel of a king who thought he was so great, that God had to humble him to the point of wandering around for years as a wild animal would (slobber and rabies and all!). God took him to the lowest human state possible in order to teach him that he still really had a pride-of-heart problem and it wasn’t until he could honestly say that God is the only one so great, that God then restored him to leadership and great things.  I definitely don’t want my pride to take me into that kind of situation!

I love the reminders in the Word of God. I need them. For situations like these, as I start to open up my ears and listen to the whisper of His Spirit, I am reminded of those who walked with God long before I did, and I’m still learning from them. A few days back I asked of God “What are you teaching me in this situation?”

It wasn’t until this morning when I was working again on memorizing these verses that I heard Him stop me at “He removes kings and sets up kings”.

“Do you see, my daughter? Do you see that you don’t have to strive or struggle to be recognized or to push through to what I’ve called you into? Do you see why this is true? Because every single person ever in leadership has been put there by my hand. You can’t mess that up. And every person who I’ve allowed in those positions has been removed by me when it was my time. I know you don’t understand everything I’m thinking about – that burden would be too much for you anyway. I want you to understand that you can trust me. I want you to remember that I will always make the best and right decision and as long as you stay focused on me and my wisdom and my strength, you’ll be standing in exactly the right places at exactly the right times.”

Thank you, Father God for this reminder.

“And Daddy? What about what I’m supposed to do with leading my kids well? I feel so overwhelmed at all the things I’ve already done wrong as a mom, and there are still so many years to come and…”

“Peace, Little One. Let’s look again.”

And so my Abba leads me again back to His Word and quiets my anxious thoughts with the reminder that He is the one who knows all the answers and He already knows all that can and will happen and if I will simply remain in the light as He is in the light, He will hold back the darkness in our lives.

He will reveal deep things to my children as He knows they are ready for them.

I need to listen for His wisdom and keep myself in the light. My kids will learn how to live in the light with Him if I will walk in the light daily instead of moving into the dark places where I’m the one in control (or rather, under the illusion of being in control).

“Remember?” my Daddy God says. “You picked your own daughter’s name as a reminder to yourself that: I already know. I have always known. And I will always know all things even after this time has passed.”

Once again, My Father God has ever so gently, like a loving Daddy does, turned my face back to His own and re-connected my heart with His. He has fixed my eyesight to see that He’s got this.

He’s always had this.

“Peace, be still.” He reminds me.

“I’ve got all the wisdom and ability you need and I give it all to you because I, your Heavenly Good Father, love you.”