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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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fear and Joy

Are they mutually exclusive??? Proverbs says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalms declare that the joy of the Lord is my strength. I have seen people ask the question what would life be like without fear??? I never know how to answer that, because I can't fathom it, not in a total way anyhow, not this side of eternity. Jesus had to have some fear right??? Since He was fully human and experienced everything we do but without sin??? He displayed utter agony as He prayed in the garden to His Father, but He also knew and saw the joy set before Him after the cross was bore.

I have gone round and round with fear like rocky having yet one more fight. I really don't get it still after all i have thought and wrestled with and through as far as why??? Death happens, it happens because of sin. Jesus removed the sting by His death,burial and resurrection. He removed any reason for death to be feared. That is how it should be and no problem should be had with it. BUT....... oh those crazy buts. The what ifs rain down inside the mind. What if your faith isn't strong enough??? What if you fail to love and obey as you are called to??? What if you want to rest in Him and the promises of His Word but still focus so much on your self??? Just a broken record on and on ......

I want to shift focus and seek joy, desire joy. I spend so much time trying to remove fear and half the time i am not FEELING FEAR when i speak about it!!!!! It strikes at weird moments like when i am driving in my car or busy at work or who knows where. I have sought on this blog to be as raw and open about all i am and deal with in living life but sometimes i feel like I just rehash my struggle and i am not wanting to do that!!!! I have ALOT of good things in life, despite my pain and hurts. I just have this thing in me which leans toward needing to share my rough stuff in hopes of comminicating with others who share similarly or to generate discussion or to be there for someone who may be encouraged somehow.

God is Good. He is Good all the time. He is love. I believe this but so often find my belief not matching my experience. I experience being ridiculed and rejected based on physical appearance and my own personal quirks by some. I experience feeling shy, unsure,.weak and helpless but also appreciated, cared for, loved,enjoyed,befriended and fun. I have a huge mixture of experiences from people over 47 years. I have experienced God in a lot of different ways. Distant,upset,angry,silent,expectant,impatient. I have experienced Him as loving,compassionate,excited,mysterious,joyous and forgiving. I have a blur inside between what I KNOW and what I FEEL. I want to seek to have my experience match what His Word says and just get off this self-fear merry go round and rest in Him and the love joy and grace He IS!!!! Does it make sense when i say even after all this exploring how to deal with my fear from just about every possible angle I still do not *get it* in so many ways???? Here's to focus shift on joy!!!!


At 11:50 PM, Blogger jennypo said...

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

I don't see fear itself as the trouble. My unhealthy fears have been rooted in a failure to fear what is truly fearful. The fear was then transferred to "paper tigers", as we say.

My biggest fears have always been around loneliness. A few years ago, life was trucking along and I was becoming more and more aware of the fact that I was much alone. Into my heart came the whisper, "If you follow God, this is what you will get..." and all at once I felt that I was on the edge of a precipice overlooking a vast, howling wilderness. I knew that it was loneliness, stretching away to the farthest reaches of my life.

I was terrified. I asked God if that was true. He said, "Follow me." I was bewildered. I didn't know what to do. Everytime I asked, that was the answer I got. In desperation, I went to Him. I asked Him to help me. Then He said, "Here's what you'll have if you don't follow me..."

This time, I felt myself looking into a cavern filled with something toweringly huge that roared and clawed and gnashed. I knew that it was selfishness.

I am still afraid of loneliness, but my far greater fear of the awful selfishness within has put it into perspective.

When I saw that my first fear was driving me straight toward a far worse thing, I learned what to fear.

At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you manage to focus on the joy and the blessings in your life, it should give your troubled mind some balance from the crippling fear you feel and can only be a good thing towards a happier existence. I hope you can find that joy and I know you can if you reach inside yourself and truly believe it's there.


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