A small flame

A small flame

No, Fear - it's all about Who's in your boat

One of my favorite lessons about fear came when I was a teenager and it blesses me still all these years later. My family and I were going through a difficult time in our mission field home. Circumstances had happened that left us feeling vulnerable and unsafe in our home, which if you've never experienced it, is extremely unsettling. We had the opportunity to host an elderly American pastor and his wife for a few days and he shared this passage with us from Luke 8.

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples,  
“Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 
So they got into a boat and started out.  
23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap. 
But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake. 
The boat was filling with water, and they were in real danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him up, 
shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. 
Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.  
25 Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?”
The disciples were terrified and amazed. 
“Who is this man?” they asked each other. 
“When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!”

Then, the pastor looked at us, sitting weary and fear-worn around our living room, and asked simply,
'When were the disciples safest? Before or after Jesus calmed the storm ?'

The disciples' our-boat's-going-to-sink fueled fear was really more about their perception of what was happening than actual danger. Because Jesus was in their boat the entire time. He knew exactly what was happening and he knew exactly what he was going to do. He was never surprised by the storm and that boat did not take on one more drop of water than he had originally planned it would.

Since God is always in control of my circumstances. . . Since he crazy-loves me and does not withhold any good thing from me {Psalm 84:11}, I am always safe. Come beautiful sunsets or boat-sinking deluges, nothing surprises or overwhelms His perfect plan for me.

And that's the best reason for No, Fear.

Hello, New Year

It's still sinking in that this is a new year.
The tree is down and Christmas is back in its boxes.
Hubby has ended his (blissful !) vacation from work.
And somewhere in the back of my brain
I know we need to start school again come Monday.
But today doesn't feel much different from yesterday or the day before....
I guess sometimes it takes a while for the 'New' in a year to dawn.

I didn't really blog about it (though I still might)
but last year was my year of fighting fear.
Of identifying where fear was dictating how I lived my life
and then pushing past it and live anyway.

My year of No, Fear.

I did just a bit of crazy, a few things people who knew me well didn't think I'd do....
until I did them.
And I did some 'brave' that only God and I could see,
but it made a difference.

And I learned something -
Life doesn't always turn out rosily, obviously,
but, usually?
When I took the risk,
the thing I feared never happened
while fun, blessing, memories showed up in abundance.

This new year is my year of joy.
Life doesn't always have joy jumping off the page...
but I believe - I know - that it's always there, somewhere.
So this year I'm changing my life-lenses, going on a hunt,
determined, through God and with grace, to Live Joyfully.

What do you hope to do with your new year?