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.
You see although one day I am strong and peace-filled and “looking-to-the-Lord-and-being-radiant”, the next day can find me in a very different state. Which is not that surprising given the rollercoaster-nature of the previous fortnight….
As we know, Jesus tells us, many many many times, “Do Not Be Afraid”. The Gospels are full full full of it. However, we are human, and it is OK when we are overtaken by fear. No, we do not need to stay there, in that fear-state, but the whole process can be overwhelming.
And so, today, I just wanted to email you. It is OK when you feel a bit of fear. And it is OK if this “fear-state” makes your behaviour go slightly weird…
Having felt this “fear-state” first-hand I now more deeply understand “those people” who have been (illogically) panic-buying-all-the-toilet-roll. Now I understand “that person” (who I love) who may (or may not) have actually bought an oxygen cylinder for their nearest and dearest.
I am not justifying fear-based behaviour, but I am claiming lots of grace and gentleness for us all. It is OK if we are feeling rather extreme emotions right now. It is very human for us to feel fear. It is OK to feel out of control. It is OK to have a desire to act and try to control things.
It is even better for us to process our emotions and allow God to get us back to a place of trusting in the Lord. It is even better for us to realise we do not have that much control over a lot of things and yet know that somehow, Our Loving Father God provides for our needs.
You see, when we see this fear-based illogical behaviour, it lets us know that there’s a deep hurt far underneath the surface. When I become convinced that an unwanted-unneeded trampoline (that we don’t have room for) will solve all our problems, the issue isn’t really about a trampoline. It means there is a little girl inside me who is scared and uncertain and feels completely out of control. She needs a cup of warm milk, a cuddle on her parent’s knee and a reassuring chat. To be gently lovingly shown that there is still warmth and safety and love in this world and that, somehow, “God has this” and we can trust Him to somehow bring the maximum amount of good out of all of it.
And this is why I am not condemning my previous self who was just desperate to buy that trampoline. There is no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus. We do not need to pretend. Jesus knows we are weak and scared and fearful. He can see us clinging onto lies and “fake-control” in illogical ways. He listens. He cares. He is not scared or repulsed by our weaknesses. He draws us close. There is only understanding and reassurance. And he reminds us (with a smile!) that his strength is made perfect in our weakness! Jesus said:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for (my) power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9 NRSV)
I am praying for you all today. Jesus’ power is being made perfect in your weakness, through your weaknesses, today. Wowee :-)!
Raising Happy Healthy Christian Kids
Your Domestic Ark
P.S. This happened a week ago. We then went into a voluntary lock-down and haven’t left the house for the previous six days (which is its own story). But tell me, I think it’s realistic to suggest that we will all be overtaken by fear at some point of this rollercoaster.
And I’m so interested to know, what helps you to move past the fear? For example, for me, it’s knitting and praying, for my sister, it’s moving her body, for a particular friend, it’s baking. Please let me know what helps you when “the fear” hits!
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