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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Ways to Conquer Fear

The other day while my fingers danced on my keyboard, suddenly something happened. My muscles tightened. "Cindi, don't know what's wrong," I wrote to my very-wise friend. "I'm stuck, really stuck. My computer says there's no room on the disk and I'm out of memory."

Even from far away, she resolved the crisis. "Sometimes," she wrote gently, "this can happen when you have too many windows open."

Duh! That's exactly what had happened. I, the queen of multi-tasking, had so many windows open at once that a mighty draft was most likely blowing my way.

Why do we do that? We open windows in life too—our kids do something off-the-wall for the umpteenth time, and we open the window of worry. When will they ever learn? Money problems don't let up, so we open the window of anxiety. The doctor's office leaves a message, "We found something abnormal in the test." Then we open the window of fear. Our spouse still won't understand us so we fling open the window of anger.

Then our life gets stuck with no more memory of joy. The file where peace was stored can't be accessed and the folder of security is empty.

I've been there and it's an ugly place when that folder is empty, when it's void of confidence, of reassurance or hope. Unable to deal with an unexpected tragedy, I filled the folder of my heart with grief and gloom. At 31, a retinal disease robbed my sight, aggressively, completely, and with no expectation of regaining it again.

That's when I opened not just a window, but a huge patio door of self-pity. Why me? I asked over and over again. The winds of anxiety and fear blew right through my soul. What will I do being blind, unable to care for my 3-, 5-, 7-year-old sons, where would I find help, answers to my questions, comfort? How could I calm my nagging fears?

In the midst of all those questions, like my friend Cindi, Jesus was gentle to come to my rescue. To remind me and to point to a different kind of fear, the fear that ushers perfect comfort:

"How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world." Psalm 31:19 (NLT)

And while under His refuge, windows of destructive emotions closed. Doors of wisdom opened instead. They ushered three important truths to conquer fear:

  • The God of the universe is watching. He's listening and is ready to point the way in the darkness.
  • He will hold us up, give us strength, and begin a new life in us.
  • He will fulfill His promise: "Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them." Psalm 138:7a (TLB)

Father, in the midst of fear that fuels my stress, how comforting it is to know that you, with your mighty power, will bring me safely through all of these frightening emotions. Teach me to trust in you, in your timing and in your ways. Because of you, I will purposefully close each window of negative emotions so I can settle in the freedom from all my fears. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Copyright © 2014, Janet Perez Eckles, used by permission.

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