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Do You Have Fear of the World or Fear of the Lord?

Posted Feb 20 2013 10:00am

“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (Proverbs 19:23)

Recent months have given me cause for fear. A couple of weeks ago, what I believed was a pinched nerve in my left side, went from painful to disabling in a few hours. It was a pain I distinctly remembered from a back injury in 2011. As I stood by the sink trying to make myself do dishes, and could not even bend enough to drop the silverware into the holder, the tears started to fall.

I had to submit to the pain and call my husband to come home. And the fear that this was all starting over again made me start to panic. I can’t go through that pain again I thought. And my son’s birthday party was in three days!

A trip to the doctor the next day resulted in his suspicions sending me for x-rays. And the x-rays showed a fractured rib–a re-fracture actually. And I had a gas bubble pushing on the fracture, a gas bubble about half the size of a bowling ball! The doctor sent me home with pain pads and pain killers and wished me luck. I begged for any kind of shot, but he said it wouldn’t make a difference.

We are told over and over in the Bible not to fear. Yet, it is life we are not to fear because God has control over all of it. The only time we should have fear is when we have a healthy-respect-kind-of-fear of God.

I grew up hearing the popular motto, “Get a life!” and that is something those of us with chronic illness deeply desire–a life. While our friends may be deciding between dinner out or having friends over for dinner, we are deciding whether we should try a heating pad or another bag of ice. It just doesn’t feel like life!

This scripture above, however, reminds me that it is not the social shenanigans we are attending that give us life. If we are looking foe the path to life it is. . . (listen up) fear of the Lord. Fear of the Lord! Of all the ways I can think of to give me life (less pain, more friends, fewer financial struggles, etc.) I sure would not have thought of fear as being life-giving. But it is the appropriate kind of fear–fear of the Lord.

We should not fear our circumstances, test results, even the extreme pain. We should only fear the Lord, and know that He desires the very best for us. We don’t have to try to create a life–we just have to surrender to His will and allow Him to take action in our days. That may be staying in bed when we would rather go somewhere–or. . . it may be going out and taking a walk when we would rather just stay in bed.

Our circumstances will change and with it, our fears could change. When our only fear is of the Lord, we have the freedom to pursue joy without the fear that our situation will alter it.

Prayer: Lord, when I am weak and give in to the fears of my circumstances, of pain, of treatments, of medication side effects, and more, help me know that I need only fear You–not these things of the earth. You are eternal and love me unconditionally. Amen.

About the author Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop .

What fears have you been caught up in lately? How have you avoided letting them consume you?

Here is the song “We Choose the Fear of the Lord” with the Maranatha Singers. Blessings to you! – Lisa

pixel Do You Have Fear of the World or Fear of the Lord?
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