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.


Who Am I?

Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.
And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Galatians 4:7


Who am I, really?

What am I doing?

Why am I here?

I can’t seem to do anything right. I’m just failing all over the place. What good am I?

These are thoughts I struggle with far too frequently. I am my own worst critic, especially when things aren’t going according to plan (specifically my plan). This morning, after what feels like a very long week couple of weeks, I was definitely down on myself again. I was thinking about all the things I’m not doing well – I’m not being a great mom, or a great wife, or excelling at work, or keeping my house clean… the list just seemed to go on forever.

I pulled out my Bible to find help and encouragement and read just a few short verses in Galatians chapter four, and paused on verse 7. “What does a good, well-rounded (not stuck up) heir to a wealthy fortune look like? How does someone like that behave every day?”, I asked myself. I came up with a few things: confident, secure, they know who they are, they know how their father is respected.

But right now, I don’t feel like I look or act that way at all. I feel like I’m “failing all over the place”, not measuring up. So I asked The Father, “What does this mean – that I am Your heir? How should I be acting?” I started to write down what came to mind: strong, loved, confident, teacher, encourager, learner, studier, held, wise, helped, capable…img_5407

This mindset shift reminded me of who my Father is which then helped me begin to remember who I really am. All that muck and self-guilt that I started my morning with – that is not what my Daddy-God says about me. That’s not who I am. “Failure” is not one of my labels. I am not a failure, because my Daddy-God is not a failure. I still have things to work on. I’m an heir, not a perfect heir. But I’m not useless, purposeless, or a “failure all over the place”.

Sitting on my couch with my coffee in hand, I thought “Yup. I do know this. Got it.”

I was thankful for the reminders and did have more peace, but I had an almost casual response. I still wrestled a little with my thoughts.

And then came the tap on my shoulder.

I was listening to the radio in my car (I rarely do that these days) and a brand new song by Lauren Daigle was playing. It was about what God says about us. It was exactly the things my Daddy-God had been speaking to me earlier this morning!

Tap. Tap.

“Are you listening to what I’m telling you, little one?”, says The Father. “You are MY child. My child is not defined by averages, successes, or feelings. You are my very own Daughter. There is nothing we can’t do together and I’m always right here to help you, to hold you, to give you exactly what you need to do all the things you need to do. Who are you? -You are loved, you are strong, you are held, you are able. You are Mine.”

To the Precious Ones reading this, if you are struggling with your thoughts today, know that you are His. You are held closely by The Father, who loves you so dearly, without condition. You are helped by Him. He is able to do anything you need Him to because you are His child. Who you are is not defined by the measurements of the world around you. Who you are is declared by your Daddy-God. You are priceless to Him. You are His very own precious, beloved child and all He has is yours.

What do you hear The Father say about you?

Scripture Diving

1 Chronicles 16:11

Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!”  
-1 Chronicles 16:11
(& Psalm 105:4)

Observation about who God is in this passage

God is strong. God is capable. God has done amazing things! God is also available. His presence is available to be found when we seek Him and He is also available to help and strengthen us when we ask. If He were not, there would be no use in looking for Him or asking for His help and His strength.

Observation about context and/or how this fits with other parts of scripture

This psalm (song) of David’s is a joyful one but it also carries some big reminders, things that when I remember them I am able to praise the Lord right away and rejoice in Him. When I forget, I am weakened and potentially face feeling alone and overwhelmed.

This song was sung after the ark of the covenant had been recovered and was on it’s way back to Jerusalem. Previously it had been taken by their enemies and then it was miss-handled – so much difficulty, uncertainty, and suffering that could have been avoided just remembering how amazingly capable God has always shown Himself to be.

Life application lesson(s)

Initially I think its easy to look at the backstory as God being harsh, but upon closer observation, verses 1-5 explain more about what God wants me to know about Him. I think one thing that He wants me to understand about Him is that He is completely capable of handling everything in my life, even the things that look like catastrophes or look impossible, or maybe even like an attack on Him or His glorification. He reminds me here (and so many places in His Word) that I should stay focused on Him. Rather than doing things my way or with whatever strength I have, ask for His help and His strength.

I worry about a lot! And there are plenty of times (dare I say daily?) that I forget just how capable He is in every situation. I make plans, I set goals, I get in touch with the “right” people, I do the “right” things, I take safety measures – all without a single word to God, a single request for His help. Sometimes, I even try to convince Him (and myself) that I’m being irresponsible if I don’t do all these things and even think that somehow God won’t get praised or get the glory and attention if I fail at whatever. But at the end of the day, I am just more tired, overwhelmed, discouraged, and scared than when I began.

But when I do remember to seek His presence continually, I am encouraged. I am at peace. I have more joy. I am energized. I am relieved. I feel like dancing like David did! Why? Because when I remember to seek His presence, I actually get His presence. And I remember, just like this psalm, just how amazing God is and all the ways He has so faithfully and capably taken care of every single one of His creation. I find myself being relieved because its actually not all on me and my strength. Its all on Him, and He’s totally got this.


Father, thank you for always being faithful. Thank you for showing me your strong hands and reminding me just how capable you are to handle everything. Thank you, Jesus for the reminder with your life that even when people (or even I) don’t “get it” or fail to let God lead the way, that it doesn’t diminish His power or even His love. Thank you, Lord for these reminders in your own Word to me. Your reminders in scripture are like precious gold to me and they lighten my load and brighten my path. When I am tempted to worry and do everything on my own, please show me sooner the gallery of your amazing work. Thank you Holy Spirit for being with me and speaking to me so that my trust for my Father increases and so that His presence is magnified making me more and more aware of it. Thank you, Lord for your strong arms, always holding me without faltering, no matter how I squirm and make a mess of things. Thank you for being attentive to help me and answer me, and thank you for showing me that when I look for you, I can in fact find you. Your love for me and faithfulness is overwhelmingly wonderful. May your children all remember and recognize your strong and capable arms and may we respond with loving trust of you, our Daddy.