Fear is a Beginning—Not the Whole Story

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 NIV

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear”. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

So much to fear! The wars, health, inflation, border crisis, criminals, drugs and corruption are blasted at us every minute of the day. Personal problems, work problems, family issues, commuting with out-of-sight gas prices and corruption in high places take over too.

As a wise man said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

We numb fear with drinking, eating, using drugs, spending, over-exercising and more addictive and fruitless behaviors.

Or we deny the fear. I tried this with my husband’s terminal disease. Luckily, I did not do this for very long. I thank God for leading me through that fiery furnace! It wasn’t pleasant at all, but the right things and persons were there right on time.

Or we huddle with like-minded, fear-driven people and complain. We yell at the TV. We reject opportunity. Opportunity right in our homes and communities.

Or we get creative. God said fear is the beginning of wisdom. Paul states that once we are God’s, we are members of the “upward call of Christ.” What is this really about? What do I need to learn?

Fear motivates but it doesn’t sustain. It doesn’t turn our focus into positive action.  Analysis paralysis. We stew. Chew our nails. Excuse our behavior, “once this has passed, I’ll start that new class, speak in front of people, confront the boss.” And we never do it because we’re waiting for fear to go away. It never does.

Fear feelings will always be a part of the human condition. We live in the fallen world.  So where do we place our focus? On our Father. We throw ourselves on the “mercy seat” and find grace. We open our heart to what our efforts can provide, no matter how small. Jesus blessing the child’s lunch of a few fish and bread.

Musings

Recall the situations in your past how our Father came through. How he provided. How he counseled. How we grew. The people he brought into our lives. Focus on what to do today. I can’t live in the future or the past, not with any positive effect anyway. Jesus counseled that we can’t even change a hair on our head or add to our life span. That’s our Father’s job. Ours is to look for opportunities to share our faith by action or words with our families, communities and the “upward call.”

Prayer

Dear Father,

We admit we’re afraid, at least anxious about the things we cannot control. We remember the Serenity Prayer that cautions us to “accept what we cannot change and the courage to change what we can and the wisdom to know the difference.” Wisdom replaces fear, serenity replaces anxiety, and courage replaces paralysis because of you. Thank you.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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