Two kinds of fear:
1. Fear of the Lord, which is the good fear. It says in Psalms 111:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom..."
2. Fear that is crippling, the "bad" fear. He says "So do not fear...." -Isaiah 41:10a
So, how can two verses be so contradictory?! We get so used to the definition of the second fear, but we have to put the light on the definition of the first fear in order to go forth! I will give you an example:
I remember when I moved into my new apartment, I was happy to finally have my own place! I had prayed to God asking Him for different things whilst in my journey in the Netherlands, of which one of them was that before I meet my future husband, I want to live on my own. God honoured that, and it showed that it was a part of His will that I do.
Living with people is also a blessing, as you get to learn a lot about yourself and about how others navigate. You also get to learn how two or more worlds collide and how the positive and negatives can be used for growth. Overall, and ultimately, we are in this life journey for relationship with God and to be more like Christ.
I remember I wanted to live by myself because something deep down in me knew that one day I would tell someone that advice. I knew that I wanted to live by myself at some point, but as you know, like any other prayer, we have to ultimately say, "if it is your Will" because God knows what's best and what is yet to come.
I am now in the midst of enjoying this apartment, but there was a moment in the road where the road got bumpy.
I had a mishap, where I had bed bugs (I know, so not ideal). This was a bump in the road that I didn't expect. I didn't know the source, and I remember I started getting scared. Although these little critters are so tiny, I started to think: "How can a nice place now seem like a not so nice place?"
In this journey, whilst I waited, I researched on how to get rid of them, and ultimately decided that getting the place sprayed would be best, in order to prevent anything spreading.
In that, I had the second fear. I saw the price of getting the spray and I was not able to pay for that myself! And besides, I didn't know the source of these little critters. The first kind of fear came in, and I asked God, "what shall I do?" In that, I had a peace that told me to tell my landlord and to ask him to pay for it, but he had said the mattress was not his but from a former tenant. Ah, that's when the second fear came in and said, "he won't pay for it, you better find money for that! It's your problem!". Indeed, if the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, prayer was the next step. I also decided to consult a few friends, who advised and confirmed that the landlord should pay, and indeed, we added the R in pay, and we started to pray together. Holy Spirit told me that my landlord's heart was hardened and we had to just pray and then ask again. Long behold, I sent him a message and he replied, "I will pay for it, I will reimburse what you pay". Thanks be to God.
I knew from that moment on, that fear will come, high and low, some in unexpected times, and in those times, we may choose to stand on the promises that God has for us. We take a stand. I had been scared to ask my landlord to pay for the bill, but after prayer, I did and it was successful. I had been scared to sleep after the sprays, but I did and I was fine. The ball was rolling, and finally, I was scared after that to start writing again, but I started and here I am and nothing bad has happened. None of the fears I had occurred. The shadows of crippling fear had come, but behold, they showed themselves to be but fearful of the One True God. I know it's a bit cliché but there is the acronym of fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. Don't fall for it. You are the child of the most high!! Grasp that promise, even if you have to hold it with your hand shaking and God is strengthening it every step of the way.
My overall message is, fear is inevitable, and since that is the case, take the chance. Ask for grace. Communicate with God. In fact, you are in relationship with Him for a reason. He desires to listen to you, even for "little" things. Sometimes we think we need to talk to God about the big things, but He cares about the day to day things too. And for some, it's actually the opposite, we think that God only cares about the small things, but He is there with the big dreams too!
I'm here now in this challenge where it's evident that at time things may come appearing as scary but for God they are not. I'm in this journey with you where fear tries to come like a shadow we have to put the lights on and it's gone. Step by step, breath by breath, moment by moment. I never said it's going to be easy, but we have the instructions on how to put the lights on. In life there are some bumps you can easily skip over, and there are mountains we push over with the faith of a mustard seed, with prayer, with friends who can pray or even "strangers" who pray. Revelations come out and truth behold, Grace and God conquers all. And know, that even Jesus Himself is praying for you.
So fear not, oh little one.
"He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." -Matthew 8:26
Now, to conclude, that "bad" fear, I put in parentheses because even "bad" fear can result to something good, which can be: you grow and you grow and you learn more and more. In Christ, all things work together for good: Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love and are called according to His purpose for them".
Imagine in the midst of the storm, God laughing at that storm, and Him saying "this tiny thing! I can conquer it! You and me together, we are wrapped in this love and we have this!"
He's got you, and since that is the case, where does the second fear fit to dwell? It is only the fear of the Lord that true life starts and where it all begins, it is where we should dwell, and it is where it ends. <3 He will lead you, He will guide you. "Fear not, for I am with you" -Isaiah 41:10
Sometimes forgiveness is not as light, nor as 'bright'...
I started singing the tune by India Arie this morning, and the reason, well..what had happened was..
I was supposed to meet at friend at 12:30 for lunch, and the night before I had slept rather late for many many reasons. My alarm went off in the morning and my body didn't want to co-operate; it was only my mind that was going: is it time yet? Maybe?.. And bam…back to the sleep-zone.
Long story short, it was 14:30 when I next woke up! :/
*ding ding!* my internal alarm went off! Oh boy…I had a missed call and a message! :(
I sent her a message back, then I tried to relax. Feeling horrible about missing our appointment, and I prayed for the grace for this. I was in panic mode praying until He lightly put a song in my head by India Arie called 'The Heart of The Matter', "it's about…forgiveness…forgiveness.."
and I thought.. huh? haha! It seemed He was more light hearted about this than I was but it didn't ring a bell until later in the evening, but back to the story...
I called my friend later on, STILL feeling horrible, and apologized. She started giggling about it and I said, "heeyyyy… why are you laughing, I feel SO horrible!" and she said it was okay and started giggling even more. I knew it was okay and she was alright with it, but I still felt bad. I had to throw it out and think of the positives, which were: at least we had planned to meet at her work, so it worked out fine that she was in the same building she was going to be in all day..and *phew* did it make that better. :) The main thing was letting go, forgiving myself (and not being too hard on myself), and going about the day. ;-)
I started seeing the effect of forgiveness..the laughter…the joy… :) it made sense now. God starts to replace the part we let go with His wonderful joyful qualities and love. No more worries, or as I like to say, Hakuna Matata! ...*breathe*;-). Whatever you've forgiven might pop in your head again, but try to take it back, give it to God and say "no, I have forgiven, I've moved on, I'm hanging onto Christ!" As it is written:
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" -2 Corinthians 10:5
It's funny because this nice story could somewhat end there and we could all bounce down the rainbow and talk about how lovely it is to forgive just like that, but that's not always the reality. Sometimes forgiveness is not as light, nor as 'bright' as the way it went in the situation above..with people smiling and saying: "it's alright!" Sometimes it's tougher.
Maybe you've been wronged, and are holding it in.
Forgiveness is for letting God take control, and to breathe again. You deserve that again my dear friend. It's painful, but allow Him to take control of the situation. Take a look at His promises; will He ever let you down? Never. It says,
"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" -Numbers 23:19
It might be even harder when the person you forgive doesn't even say 'I'm sorry', or plays it cool, or even pretends like it never happened, but allow yourself to breathe again. Let go, breathe,and allow God to STEP IN and take control. God sees all sides of the situation. You might not even like them or hang out with the person again, but you can breath again. Let. it. go. and laugh again. His Arms are big enough to carry what's within.
"He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection" -Psalm 91:4
And if it's healing you need, you will find it.