Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fear Not: He is Holding Your Hand!!!

"For I hold you by your right hand--I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you."  [Isaiah 41:13 NLT]
(A revised devotional of mine from 2009)

It had been a rare, but beautiful sunny spring day in NJ. I had spent the greater part of my day soaking up the sun and the outdoor greenery with most of my children and mother-in-law. Unfortunately, my gem, Troi, had not enjoyed this lovely spring day with us outdoors because, she had been afraid of the idea of a neighbors' dog popping out of nowhere and spoiling her fun and sense of security. Therefore, she had sadly spent most of the afternoon watching our enjoyment from the computer chair near the window.

As the afternoon winded down, I decided that I would take a short walk to the corner store, and asked Troi to accompany me. She reacted to the invitation with initial excitement, that shortly seemed to be overshadowed with fear. I convinced her to tag along with me by explaining how wonderful it would be to enjoy one-on-one time with her. The idea of that precious time alone with Mommy won her over, and soon, we were on our way!

From the moment we exited the front door, I took a firm grip of Troi's right hand and we began to saunter through the parking lot; entertaining a discussion of the snacks we planned to buy at the store. As soon as we got past the parking lot however, Troi could hardly concentrate on enjoying our walk or time together, for she was focused on her fear of everything around her. With each home we passed or leaf that floated across our path (from the blowing wind), Troi would jump, flinch, and whip her head around. Each time she did this, I would tell her not to fear and tried to persuade her that because I was holding her hand and, there was nothing to be afraid of. But even with this assurance, Troi was not at peace and could not relax.

With every continuous step following, Troi jumped and flinched. As we crossed over a driveway, she quickly pulled me and screamed, "Mom, a car is coming!" But I had seen the car coming long before her warning and knew that we were clear of it, with nothing to worry about. I responded, "Troi, I got you! I saw the car way before you did. We are fine! I would never let anything happen to you. I'm holding your hand!" Even with this, Troi was still not put at ease; for she quickly warned me to be careful for the on coming cars, as we stood to cross over the street to our destination.

I have to admit that I was baffled with Troi's behavior. How could Troi be so afraid and so undone during this trip? Obviously, I was holding her hand…obviously, I am much taller and stronger than her…obviously, I would never let her get harmed….WHAT WAS THERE TO FEAR???

And then, there it was: my little moment of revelation! Is this what God is thinking when He looks down at me? Why are you fretting, Teri? I am holding your hand! Why are you afraid about how this or that situation is going to pan out, Teri? Aren't I bigger and much stronger than you? I would never let anything happen to you! Why are you crying out to me about the deadline of a bill or an upcoming date? I am calm, Teri. I saw this coming way before you noticed it, and everything is just fine! Why are you so undone, Teri? I am RIGHT HERE holding your hand!

I am sure that all of us can in some way relate to Troi's trip to the corner store? For us, I am sure it is not a corner store trip, but the little daily "trips" we take in our lives.  How many times have you jumped or flinched through the trials of life and even cried out to God as if to warn Him of what's ahead? But just as I offered Troi assurance of my greater presence, protection, and strength, God's Word provides us with a more powerful assurance to calm and comfort our fear on our "trips" in life:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." [Isaiah 41:10]
"Be strong and courageous. Don't tremble! Don't be afraid of them! The LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He won't abandon you or leave you." 
[Deuteronomy 31:6 God's Word Translation]
"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars."  [Isaiah 45:2]

My walk with Troi to the corner store, also reminds me of a trip Jesus took with His disciples.  It seems that just as Troi called out to me in a warning resulting from her fear, so did the disciples.  But just as I had foreseen any pending danger, knew my own strength to protect her, and remained calm, so did Jesus.

But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.   Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”   When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” [ Mark 4: 37-40]

And our Lord still continues to rest and remain calm during our most fierce storms in life, because He knows who He is, knows His infinite power and strength, and has already been before us and has solved our drama before the winds and waves ever came in our direction. 

God wants us to relax and enjoy the "trips" in life. He wants us to rest and know that as I had Troi's right hand, He is always holding ours tightly. He longs for us to throw out our fear and "cast all of our cares on Him, for He cares for us" [1 Peter 5:7].

So, the next time you are  walking on the "streets of your life", headed to your "corner store", remember that...God DID NOT give you A SPIRIT of FEAR,
but one of LOVE, POWER, and A SOUND MIND [2Timothy 1:7]...and...


Mad Luv~Teri

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