I had a favourite prayer, a long time ago, which included the line:
“Let me not run from the love you are offering me”.
Because, you see, I want God’s blessings, I want to experience God’s goodness. I do, truly, desire intimacy with our amazing God. And yet I can find myself running from Him, running from the very activities and conversations and places that will lead to the encounter I desire. Sometimes I do not allow myself to receive the blessings that God is lavishing upon me. It is almost like I have a closed fist that is incapable of accepting a gift.
There is a lot of fear around these days. I can almost see it sliding into my home, squeezing through the window-frames.
And one of fear’s tricks is to make us see other people as “the enemy”, when really it is fear itself we need to battle.
You know this already, I know you do. And I know it. So, if we all know this, why does it keep taking us off-guard? And we know that God does not leave us defenceless, that “perfect love drives out fear” and that Jesus is constantly inviting us to “not be afraid”.
It is 7am on one of my husband’s precious holiday days and I wrench open the curtains, fling the window wide and shove an (unwanted) hot cup of tea at him. My sleeping husband had been promised a holiday lie-in and here was I, demanding his full attention and saying:
“Get up, we need to buy a trampoline. Now!”.
You see, I had checked my phone way too late the previous night, had been swallowed up by hysteria and fake news, and was now convinced the world was about to end. Or at least be on military lock-down by lunchtime. By which time it was absolutely necessary for us to have bought a very large trampoline for our very small garden.
At least that is what my fear-stricken brain had decided!
Completely illogical, I know. However, at the time, these thoughts felt so real and I did not recognise them for the lies that they were. It felt so true, so real, so necessary that it absolutely MUST be acted on RIGHT-NOW.