Journey Through October: Conquering Fear

~week one~day three~

The Reason to Keep Breathing

There are reasons to read on though.  His kindness leads us to repentance.  Romans 2:4.  There is no greater love than He who lays down his life for His friends. John 15:13.  He didn’t take you this far to leave you.  Philippians 1:6.

There are also reasons to keep breathing when you are suffering.  None of us fully knows the kindness of God until our need supersedes our abilities.  Somehow when the impossible flows into our reality, we finally recognize that our human efforts can only take us so far.  We can’t change people.  We can’t alter circumstances with our influence or smarts.  We can’t carve out a way when there is no way.  We can’t work all things together for good on our own.

We can, however, choose to keep breathing.  As we breathe, He shows us that there is no distance He will not go to prove His love.  There is no width He won’t go to put our pieces back in order.  There is no depth He won’t go to show us how very much He loves us.  He is interceding for us; placing in us His strength, so that we can in fact breathe through our pain.

It is worth it to keep on breathing.  He did not take you this far to leave you.  He has plans to give you a hope and a future.

I remember looking into my dad’s eyes as He crossed over to heaven.  As I said goodbye with my eyes staring into his eyes, I distinctly remember knowing that His love was greater than the heartbreak of goodbye.  His wisdom was higher than my thoughts of keeping my dad here.  At that time, I did not know the true depth that would result from continuing to breathe.  I would not know for quite some time the value of breathing as we suffer.  But it is for the same reason I picked up again those two books on Fear.  He has a message for us at all times.  But especially when we suffer.

To All the Grownup Bossy Fancy-Pants Adults Out There

By JMathis

The last time I felt confident, free and completely at peace with my Creator has been a long time. A very long time.

We’re looking at something like 10-15 years here.

Is that wrong to say?

I think back to when it all stopped, and I see that my reliance on Christ has been spotty ever since adulthood. Ever since the stressful job. Ever since getting married. Ever since the mortgage. Ever since the kid.

I have always loved Him, and not a day goes by where I don’t desire to be closer with Him. Just like with a lot of people in my adulthood, though, I keep Him at arm’s length.

Why do we “grownups” allow grief, stress and pain to nick at our hearts? To put our emotions into a tailspin? To separate us from the One Who Has All of the Answers?

Perhaps as adults, it’s easy for us to get engulfed in all sorts of Sunday School-type head-knowledge of God’s capabilities: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

But our heart-knowledge is severely lacking.

As much as we would love to move onmove on past the floods that floor us, the quakes that shake us, the roaring winds that bring us to our knees—we have to let Him into our lives first to survey the damage, to divide and bury.

To pile up sandbags around our bleeding hearts. To catch our tears into His Jar of Forgiving and Forgetting. To part our Red Sea.

We have to let Him in first, whispers the Spirit.

What if I can’t let go, God?

Let Him in.

Why does it seem impossible to move on past these troubles?

Let Him in.

Why do the same hurts and negative situations always seem to resurface?

Let Him in.

What if I don’t even know the first step of how to let You in? After all of these years, Lord?

Just ask, whispers the Spirit.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

“Yet you do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

Just ask, whispers the Spirit.

Stop being a grownup. Stop being an adult with your bossy fancy-pants. Stop with your Sunday-School head-knowledge.

It’s that simple.

Just ask.