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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Friday, December 22, 2006

nobody said it would be easy

Words to a coldplay song but they ring so true. *The Road less Traveled* a book by M Scott peck, originally published back in 1982, highly recommended reading btw, opens with these words of wisdom..... *life is difficult* of course it's not followed by and then you die badumbum.tsh kind of a cliche but so true still the same. I had a certain type of post planned until i went to glance over my good friend barbaras blog and noticed her linking to ambers site in which amber had written several posts about fear. My last post a few days ago was talking about how I wanted the verse which talked of Gods perfect love to cast out all fear to become reality in my life. I had a down day today for various reasons, and was going to post in such a way but have been changed by reading ambers posts.

Amber discusses various mission trips she made to romania and an indian reservation mostly, and how on each one she was forced to hand over her fears to God and deal with them. Great part is... she DID just that!!! her way of sharing is so compelling because she shares so genuinely no need for high drama just that her fears surfaced and she had to face them with God. of course God came through. i am very in awe and inspired by Amber at the sametime. i have had to face a few fears because there was no other way. On was flying. When i was at semnary in Illinois, my church home decided to pay my way to fly back home to california for christmas. A very cool gesture because i did not have the money to afford it and neither did my mom, but i was scsred nonetheless.As the flight drew nigh i spent countless times going to professord and my fellow students asking for tips on overcoming fear of flying most of them made jokes about crashes and such but they did it in a spirit of caring trying to show it all was in Gods hands ultimately. i made the flight and was realtivel calm . needless to say though, the following year, I paid to go by amtrak 3 day trek across the country.... baby steps right barbara???? *wink wink*

I faced my fear of anesthesia a few times. i have long had the fear of somehow never waking up from being putto sleep.... or having that dreadful experience of waking up enough to be aware of what was happening but unable to let the drs or nurses i was YIKES!!! I had to have surgery on my ear as well as my nose. Getting a shot of demerol before going under was sure helpful wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and i made it through unscathed, except for a nauseous reaction to the anesthesia upon awakening ah well

Public speaking I got the opportunity to preach several times while in Bible college as part of a team called *project barnabas* in which we wentto small churches in our area and preached in the evening service. Very scary,,, very good experience and so many incredibly wonderful people in those churches who were very encouraging.

i still am seeking to deal with my most basic fear though..... deepest root there is.... God Himself. As i talked about in a previous post.... I handled things logically and intellectually extremely well. Not so emotionally and here as i type this i feel that struggle. I am able to be a very solid encourager to people , i truly believe and have had it confirmed over the years it is most likely my primary spiritual gift. I can see ways to give hope and comfort to people, draw up patterns i see connecting things which help.. but when it comes to myself... im a blank far too often. And of course i cover this up by not letting on any of this ,always appear in control well unless i share it which I try not to do because i am supposed to be handling things maturely and handling it as a strong christian should. A big part of me just.emotonally has a severely hard time just trusting God to be there to care to recognizse he loves me. Great now ai feel the tears beginning... i am being very raw and transparent here because Ai am just touched in this way right now to be so. I know Gods grace is ther and he loves us unconditionally apart from performance.... but what about the verses about obedience???? the parable of the one who buried his gift and all he had was then taken from him???? the verses where it appears if your performance were not up to par, whatever the par was then you were dealt with severely???? Weall want to hear the words upon entering Heaven..... *well done thou good and faithful servant!!* Well.... what if thats simply not the case???? What if you screw up and fall to the same sins again and again over the course of so many years and especailly when having been or being in a position wher you are seen as the example for others to follow????

All through my tiome in Bible college i struggled with feeling like i would die at any moment. i cannot explain this it just was there. Anytime i rode in a car i would sitther and wonder.. *am i going to die now... will i sudenly have a heart attack.... it would hit me while watching a movie in a theater while at home on the weekend..... almost anywhere a counselor i had even told me to tell myself *ok die die right now* to help show me that my thoughts didnt make it happen and wouldnt. Deeper struggle in all of this was worrying that God was angry because i was showing lack of faith and lack of trust in Him in his love and care for me. I saw it inwardly as my own feelings of failure because i ever let fear happen. i sought everyday to turn these hidden struggles over to God.... amzing growth has happened over the years in a lot of ways, but lately i have felt old wounds resurface.... maybe because of my heart condition as well as now having diabetes and realizing that yes life can indeed be cut short anytime.

Reading ambers posts was very comforting to me. i DO know and believe deep inside with my mind heart soul and strngth God is love and he is completely trustworthy..... i just have to turn over my dark areas to Him as well and even accept the reality of them being there. I dont know if all i wrote is totally coherent, i hope so. i just felt the need to lay all mycards on the table maybe some others also have hidden hands they need to look at. or some have experience and wisdom to offer as exhortation and encouragment. I am so very thankful for discovering blogging and so many of you people outthere who God uses in alot of ways. i pray He will transform my fears into trust and actions which allow Him to demonstrate His amazing ability to display His glory and goodness. Thanks for reading all who come by.


At 5:33 PM, Anonymous BarBarA said...

This was a great post - I am glad you got teared up in the middle and shared so transparently. You know what? You're so not alone in these feelings. As I read I felt myself nodding my head in agreement even though I don't have the exact safe fears and concerns - I do relate. The fear of God himself is huge - but I didn't even put a name to it till you mentioned it just now. I try to hide my thoughts from him sometimes so he doesn't get disappointed, disgusted or angry.

I'm glad you liked Amber's post, it really "wow'ed" me (my most over-used word ever).

We need to talk about this fear of flying thing - I have some stories for ya!!!

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

Hi Robert!

God is scary for me too. I think that's because to draw near to God is to be drawn more fully into life and life is inherently painful. Not all of the time, of course, but life is filled with a multitude of experiences, some awesome, some awful. I have lived most of my life seeking the awesome and trying to protect myself from the awful.

Let me quote something to you that has lately been of value to me in this regard. It's from Fil Anderson's book, "Running on Empty".

"Sometime ago my spiritual director encouraged me to ask God for a special prayer that could companion me along the way. I followed the advice, and God led me to the words, “I’m your special son.” This was fitting when considering one of my greatest struggles has been accepting God’s acceptance of me. . . . The quiet and gentle repetition of this prayer has, at times, ushered in a deeper and more abiding awareness of God’s tender love and acceptance. Far from a magic formula or an attempt to manipulate God, these words help me focus, move from my head into my heart, and open space for God to work."

Robert, when I read that I thought it was cool that he had something like that, but nothing came to mind for me. I wasn't even looking for anything like that. Then, the other day, a simple phrase came to mind, "God is with me." It wasn't a prayer per se. It was an acknowledgment of a simple, basic truth. But for me it was more than that. It was me saying to myself that God loves me enough to be here with me right now. And, if THAT is true, then He will take care of me. He is active in my life.

As Fil said, this is not a magic formula. And it was not something I was seeking. Today as I was at the doctor's office waiting to have my BP checked, I just thought the thought, and then relaxed in it. I just let it be. God was with me. Not like it was no big deal, but not like it was startling either. Just the truth. So when my BP was checked, it was good. 120/76. No change to meds required.


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