Week 4 of fasting from my plans, and today the message from Ruth 3:18 and Philippians 3:20 for me is "wait." Wait for what? What for the Lord. To do what? Just... wait for him. But what am I waiting on him for? Nothing but himself. He's all I need, so my waiting, hoping, and expecting needs to simply be for him... Ok, Father, today I'll wait...
I've been thinking about fear this week... and how my sin is often rooted in fear. And do you know that the Bible commands - commands - me to not fear, not be afraid, and fear not, over 100 times? So, fear is a sin, and apparently one that is common enough and serious enough that God reminds us over and over again to just not do it. And I think one reason for that is that fear has a lot of power to cut us down, cripple us, and make us forget who we are. It's a stronghold that has a very... strong hold.
So what's the opposite of fear? If I choose not to fear, if I give my fears to God and sacrifice them on the altar of my heart, what will replace it? One of my craziest fears is that if I let go of my fear, I'll not have anything left... but I know this is a lie, because God never leaves a void in us. Emptiness is meant to be filled by him. So... how does he fill the newly-vacant throne of fear? Crazy enough, the words that came to my mind were the titles of the stories I recently posted: Joy, Trust, Hope, Grace, and Peace. Aren't each of these the opposite of Fear? I also think of Courage and Freedom (so maybe I should write a couple more stories?).
So this week I feel like my prayers are stronger... instead of just asking God to wrench fear from my hands, I've been asking him for an exchange - my fears for his hope; my fears for his joy, my fears for his peace... It seems like an unfair trade, but his resources are endless and he is so generous, I don't think he minds. In fact, I get the feeling he is pleased... And guess what is starting to fill up my heart?!