THE FEAR OF SUFFERING

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.”  – Paulo Coelho

 

 

Airplanes FREAK ME OUT.
I have only ever been on an airplane for one trip (multiple airplanes
but one trip all together) and it wasn’t even a fun trip… it was for my Grandma’s
funeral when I was 14 years old.

 

When I was younger I knew I was going to be a star and
travel the world, which of course means I would have to get on an airplane but
for some reason as I have gotten older I have become more and more afraid of
airplanes.

 

I work near the airport in Nashville so on my trips to and
from work I see a lot of airplanes making their way into the airport or leaving
the airport.  I am always so fascinated that
something so BIG and HEAVY can fly in the air… yet at the same time I get this
anxious/sick feeling in my stomach when I see them because they just freak me
out for some reason.

 

Today on my way in to work I was watching airplanes make
their way across the morning sky, that sick feeling came over me, and I asked
God to help me analyze these feelings.

 

Why am I so freaked out by airplanes?

Because I
am  afraid to fly.

Why am I afraid to fly?

Because my
plane might crash.

Why does that scare me?

I guess it’s more of the FEAR of
falling from the sky and knowing that I’m about to crash to my death leaving
behind all of my loved ones.  It’s also
knowing that I have absolutely NO control if that plane starts to fall from the
sky.

 

Do you see how silly our minds can be?  What control do I really have in this life
anyway?  Funny how we think we are so
much in control.

 

Guess what we ALL have in common? … One day, we are ALL
going to die – leave this earth … every single one of us.  We can ignore this fact; we can try to keep
our heads stuck in the ground; or we can face the reality that one day we are
going to pass away from this earth.

 

For me, walking through depression and anxiety for months on
end put a fear in me so deep- every second of the day I felt like I was
literally going to die.  I was so tired
of the torment day in and day out that I begged God to just go ahead and take
me.

 

This is NOT how God wants us to live our lives.  If we want to make a difference in this world
we have to be willing to go where He asks us to go and we have to trust that He
has us completely in His hand.

 

In the study Daniel, by Beth Moore she makes this
point:  “God will deliver you from the
fire completely (things will never even come your way), God will deliver you
through the fire (burning off any bondage that He never intended for you to
have), or God will carry you straight into His arms (allowing you to leave this
world).

 

Last night during my prayer time with the Father I was
puzzled with this question “Would I die for You?”  I thought about it for a minute and then
responded “I’m sure if I was faced with that opportunity, I would die for You….
I definitely wouldn’t deny You, so I’d have to die…  but in theory, hmmm…  God, I can’t say YES with an excited heart
tonight… other days I can but tonight I can’t. Help me to come to that place of
trust where I can answer boldly YES!!!”

 

I feel like seeing the airplanes this morning and the
conversation it sparked with the Lord is His way of showing me that I have no
control any way.  There is still unnecessary
fear hidden within me and He wants to help me rip that out so that He can use
me by sending me wherever HE needs me to go.

 

I love that the Lord is so kindly repairing and patching
parts of my heart where I allowed the enemy to have a stronghold for far too
long.  It’s a daily process of cleansing
and renewal.  How awesome to have a
Father who loves and cares about me that much that He would take the time to
clean me up… GOD… who breathed the universe into existence, cares to sit with
me as I work out the messy details of my life.
That’s some serious grace and serious love.  He is love.

 

So all the way back to the quote at the beginning of this
blog:

 

“Tell
your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself.”  – Paulo Coelho

 

So
TRUE.  The fear of suffering is so much
worse than suffering itself because fear is sin, suffering is not.  God meets us right where we are, so when we
do suffer, His grace pours over us in that moment and carries us… when I
suffered through depression I still look back and have no logical explanation
as to HOW I got through that… only God could deliver me – but to FEAR the
suffering of going through depression again or something horrible happening to
me or one of my loved ones is me choosing not to trust God and to believe the
lies of the enemy.

 

My
prayer for us is that we would be bold and courageous like we are called to be –
that we would proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and our hope in Him until we
breathe our last or Jesus returns and calls us home.

 

As
my Pastor would say … “I read the end of the Book and we WIN!”

 

May
we walk out our faith – fearlessly!

 

A

 

 

 

 

 

Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything
under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like
his glorious body.
(NIV)

 

 

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 5:8

New Living Translation (NLT)

8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would
rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the
Lord.

Philippians 1:22-23

But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t
know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with
Christ, which would be far better for me.
(NLT

 

Deuteronomy 30:19

The Message (MSG)

19-20 I call Heaven and Earth to
witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and
Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to
him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on
the soil that God, your God,
promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

John 15:19

The Message (MSG)

Hated by the World

18-19“If you find the
godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived
on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I
picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world
is going to hate you.

 

 

1 John 2:15

The Message (MSG)

15-17Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the
world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically
everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything
for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It
just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is
on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

John 17:14

The Message (MSG) (Jesus speaking)

13-19Now I’m returning to you.

I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing

So my people can experience

My joy completed in them.

I gave them your word;

The godless world hated them because of it,

Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,

Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.

I’m not asking that you take them out of the world

But that you guard them from the Evil One.

They are no more defined by the world

Than I am defined by the world.

Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;

Your word is consecrating truth.

In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,

I give them a mission in the world.

I’m consecrating myself for their sakes

So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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