Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Cure for Fear

 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!
1 John 4:18a AMP

My girls fell in love with an animated movie that came out a couple of years ago. Unlike many other parents, I haven't minded the repeated viewings, and I sing along to the soundtrack regularly when they're singing and dancing in the den. The climactic scene in the movie involves a frozen heart and the only cure---true love.

Like one of the main characters, I often find my heart frozen, but with fear instead of ice. When my life spirals out of control, and it hits me all over again how little I actually control in my life, I am seized anew by fear and anxiety. 

Even when things are going well, sometimes I find myself waiting for the next thing to happen, living in dread of something that isn't even on the horizon. My imagination can go wild thinking of things that would affect our jobs, income, health insurance status, ability to provide the medications and therapies our younger daughter needs, and on and on. While God has never failed to provide for either of our children, I still struggle with doubt and fear.

If I really focus on God and His Word instead of on circumstances, I can break through to the peace that guards my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7), but it's all too easy to slip back into worrying and fretting.

I think Laurie Wallin hit the nail on the head when she posted this graphic on Facebook:

For me, all this fear comes down to one thing: I don't trust God. I don't trust Him to be good even when everything seems terribly bad. I struggle to believe in His goodness and love when I can't see how He's going to work everything out and keep us afloat. I find myself like the father in Mark 9:24 (AMP) - "Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my weakness of faith!" And all this despite the fact that He has never failed us and has proven Himself faithful time and again, even when we have been unfaithful.

1 John 4:18 says the cure for this fear is love, and I'm desperate for the cure for my frozen heart. I pray regularly that God will help me "to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ" (Ephesians 3:18 NIV) so that I can be free.

Sometimes I think the best solution might be to sing a simple children's song over and over until it really sinks deep into my heart and mind: Jesus loves me. This I know . . .

Pray: Father, please help me to fully understand, deep down, how much you love me so that I can be set free from fear and anxiety. Help me to trust you more and to set aside my limited understanding of our circumstances to rest in your care. Amen.

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