Tragedy struck last week as a man opened fire in an airport in Florida. Panicked travelers ran to hide, desperate to survive. Each will be changed by this traumatic day in their lives. Many will experience PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and find traveling in the future a trigger for anxiety and panic.
Fear can control, taunt and paralyze. We quickly cower under the imaginary shadow of what could happen.
I have struggled with that kind of fear during different times in my life. When my children were little, I was afraid of dying and leaving them without a mother. I worried about being sick with a terminal illness. The shadow of death stole my joy for a season.
With three teenage drivers, I battle fear often. Suddenly, I will see a picture in my mind of a terrible accident, and it feels so real, I lose my breath for a second.
When our adopted son became part of our family, he came with his own set of fears. We were just getting to know him, but it didn’t take long to discover that he was terrified of dogs, bugs, and the dark. Later, as he learned English, we understood from his story why those fears took root in his mind.
Fear can be a motivator in our lives as well. We may behave a certain way out of fear of rejection, punishment, or abuse. My dad had a heart attack years ago, and the man I thought would never put down his cigarette quit cold-turkey. Why? He was afraid.
Many Americans are afraid of what the future holds as a new leader steps into the White House this month. We are most afraid of the unknown, the possible outcome.
Instead, what if our greatest fear was of today, this moment? What if our greatest fear was living outside of our connection with God? I don’t want to miss God’s best for me. He created me and has a plan for me, his will for my life, and I want to live each moment smack dab in the middle of it.
What if missing out on God’s best was our greatest fear? That would be a fear that motivates. It would drive us to our knees to seek Him. Our attention would be focused on hearing his voice. No longer would our time be wasted with things that don’t satisfy.
For that to happen we would first have to believe that God loves us and truly has a unique purpose for us. Do you believe that today? Do you believe that you are completely loved by your Father and perfectly designed for a plan he chose for you? It’s true.
If you and I believe this truth, I mean really believe it, our goal would be intimate connection with him. We wouldn’t want to miss his wisdom, promises, or calling.
Staying connected with God is not complicated. It’s basic relationship 101. Spend time together. Communicate.
I don’t want to live my life in fear of this world and the tragedy that could happen. That kind of fear paralyzes me. The fear that motivates me is missing the fullness of God in my life. I can rest in his grace as I go knowing that as I stumble forward, seeking him. He is slow to anger, full of compassion. No doubt, I have missed some awesome experiences in my life because I was way off track, but I have been welcomed back into his mercy each time.
The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. Psalm 145:8 NLT
What might I miss today if I am not in tune with His Spirit and walking in His will?
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesisans 2:10 NIV