At Wednesday night bible study, we discussed two kings...one was ruled by fear (Ahaz), the other was ruled by faith (Hezekiah). It got me to thinking about my own life. Was my life ruled by fear, or by faith? I could say with great certainty, and great sadness, that most of my life had been ruled by fear.
Picture this...two young girls walking through the woods on a beautiful, sunny summer day. Just exploring and enjoying the day. All of a sudden, one of them steps on a bee hive! UGH! Ground bees are the worst! They just keep after you--stinging and stinging! The bees swarm the two girls as they run home with the bees chasing them...they soak in a bath of alcohol & warm water as their mom painstakingly checks the swollen bites for left-behind stingers.
Fast forward 30 years...one of those girls is now a married mom of two. She drives down the road with her two boys in the back seat, following her husband (who is driving his own car). It is also a beautiful summer day and they are on their way to the Great Escape for fun in the sun. All of a sudden, the woman notices a bee in the car! Fear strikes! Memories of that long-ago summer start to filter into her mind. She tried to get the bee out by opening the window, not paying attention to the road in front of her...then, out of the corner of her eye, she notices break lights! Oh my! Her husband has stopped short! She swerves to get out of the way, but hits the right taillight, going off the road and over an old stump! The car stops and one of the boys is crying. She gets out of the car and opens the left side passenger door to check on her one year old. That's when total fear takes her over...she is being stung by bees! That old stump must have had a hive in it! They are everywhere! She runs hysterically down the side of the road; arms flailing about like a crazy woman! Her husband was right there behind her and grabbed the one year old out of the car. The woman did not even think to get her baby out! She was so overcome by fear. She then realized what she did and ran back to the car. Her husband handed the baby over to her and she ran, holding him tight, into a nearby ice cream shop. Her husband then proceeded to get the two year old out of the car and finally met up with them in the ice cream shop. Shaking, she checked out the babies to see what damage the bees had done. Thankfully, the one year old was only stung 6 times, while the two year old was not stung at all! She had 6 stings, but her husband had over 20!
Have you guessed yet who the woman was? Yes, that was me. I laugh about that day now, but back then, in that moment, I was totally and utterly afraid! I forgot all about my poor baby sitting in his car seat, crying out for me! How could I do that? What was wrong with me? I was consumed with fear. That is what fear can do to you if you let it run your life.
As a girl, I was ruled by fear...
fear of my parents
fear of the nuns at catechism
fear of speaking in front of my class
fear of what others thought of me
fear of drowning
Today, as an adult, my fears are somewhat different...
fear of my children drowning
fear of my loved ones dying
fear that I will inherit my mom's diabetes
fear that I will not do right in raising my children
Fear has a way of enslaving you. God has a way out! He tells us "...fear not! for I am with you!" (Isaiah 43:1-5) Today, my life is better, not perfect, but better. I am more and more ruled by my faith, rather than my fear. If you place your trust and faith in God, you do not have to fear anything...
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7)
So ask yourself, is your life ruled by fear? Or is it ruled by faith?