First of all – I wanted to say Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all those who have served or are serving in any branch of our military. Also, special thoughts go out in memory of those who have served and are now gone, such as my parents; my Dad served in the Army and my Mom in the Air Force, back in the 1950s.
Secondly, welcome to part 2 of my 9-part Sunday series reflecting on fears confronted, lessons learned, and progress made – and then taking all that to build a plan for success as we focus forward on the upcoming new year of 2013.
Last Sunday I reflected on fears that I have faced this year and mentioned that a certain devotional reading had prompted that reflection. This Sunday, I wanted to share that devotional thought, written by author Max Lucado:
“Isn’t it likely that fear is one of the emotions Jesus felt? One might even argue that fear was the primary emotion. He saw something in the future so fierce, so foreboding, that He begged for a change of plans–> ‘Father, if You are willing, take away this cup of suffering from Me…’ (Luke 22:42).
Jesus was more than anxious; He was afraid.
Fear is worry’s big brother. If worry is a burlap bag, fear is a trunk of concrete. It wouldn’t budge.
How remarkable that Jesus felt such fear. But how kind that He told us about it.
We tend to gloss over our fears. Cover them up. Keep our sweaty palms in our pockets, our nausea and dry mouths a secret.
Not so with Jesus. We see no mask of strength. But we do hear His request for strength–> ‘Father, if You are willing, take away this cup of suffering from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done’ (Luke 22:42).
The first One to hear Jesus’ fear was His Father. He could have gone to His mother. He could have confided in His disciples. He could have assembled a prayer meeting. All would have been appropriate, but none were His priority. He went first to His Father.
How did Jesus endure the terror of crucifixion? He went first to the Father with His fears.
Don’t avoid life’s Gardens of Gethsemane. Enter them. Just don’t enter them alone. And while there, be honest. Pounding the ground is permitted. Tears are allowed. And if you sweat blood, you won’t be the first.
Do what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane; open your heart. And be specific. Jesus was. Give God the details…He has plenty of time. He also has plenty of compassion.
Jesus doesn’t think your fears are foolish or silly. He won’t tell you to ‘buck up’ or ‘get tough.’ He’s been where you are. He knows how you feel.
Jesus, at this very moment, is protecting you…Evil must pass through Christ before it can touch you. And God will ‘never let you be pushed past your limit; He will always be there to help you come through it’ (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Just knowing that helps dispel fear, doesn’t it? Lord, thank You for bringing calm to the storms of my fears.”
–Max Lucado in “Traveling Light”
[Posted as part of NaBloPoMo–November theme: Blogging for Blogging’s Sake].