I remember back at the beginning after my stroke, I was deathly afraid of falling. I think it had much to do with having fallen in the bathroom the night before we went to the hospital. My right side wasn’t completely paralyzed, but it’s function at that point was definitely not right, and so when I got up to go the bathroom during the night my right leg gave way and down I tumbled. I hit my head on the tub (not hard), and even with my husband helping had a horrible time getting to my feet again. It took every. ounce. of. strength. I had to do it.
After I got back home from the hospital 2-3 weeks later, I was still afraid of that bathroom. I actually had to talk myself into having the courage to go in there. It seems silly, but it was a very real fear which didn’t stop with the bathroom. Soon my fear of falling had grown into a menacing giant that threatened me in many other places. I was so intensely afraid of falling and not being able to get back up. I didn’t give into it; I still talked myself into doing what I needed to do. But Mr. Fear was with me continuously, gleefully taunting and threatening.
“Mr. Fear” has no place in the heart of a believer in Christ. God, our loving Father, has a better place for us to live than under the control of Mr. Fear. Jesus began to work on my heart about it in various ways, teaching me to let go of it and trust Him.
Jesus is a gentle, patient Counselor. He knew exactly how fast I could go, and sent exactly the right people with exactly the right words, at the exact right times to help me past my fears. He gave me what I needed to trust Him and have Faith. It was hard, but eventually, I regained confidence in Him.
But oh, how tightly we do wrap our mental and emotional fists around our fears and won’t let go. But then, fear isn’t about fear. Not really. It’s really about control and surrender. At its core, it’s about me wanting control of my life, and me not wanting to surrender that part to Him.
Fear is not a characteristic of God. How can a Being who sees and knows everything ever fear? No, fear is from the enemy of our souls. It’s the enemy’s tactic to keep us tied up. If we believe our fears and don’t see them for lies, and if we don’t deliberately name them as the lies they are, then we will indeed be in chains. Paralyzed. Unable to function. Unable to look away from self. Stuck. Always functioning out from under a fear of what we think may or may not happen, and what may or may not be true, instead of (learning to be) truly functioning in His voice and His Spirit.
Every single fear is a lie in one way or another. Fear keeps us as merely religious. It keeps us out of the Reality that’s in Him; His Person. Out of the truth that He’s near.
You see, if we believe the lies from Mr. Fear, then God is stuck too, since He answers to faith. He doesn’t respond according to our fears. Why do you think Jesus was constantly telling His disciples to not fear? Cuz it kept them in the earthly thing, and focused away from Him actually being with them in it.
Yes, God is compassionate and loving and merciful. But its because of that, if you truly belong to Him, that He’s going to hold you to a response of Faith and not let you get away with anything less.
He’s always good that way. And I want Him to be that way.
In the end, He gave me some promises that have followed me everywhere as I have had to relearn my new life after my stroke. They’re from Jude:
“Do not fear.” -Jesus