2 Peter 1:5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” NIV
Youngest daughter is a nuclear physics nerd. She reads books about nuclear power plants and the chernobyl disaster just for fun. She has a hand drawn model of a nuclear reactor on the wall in her room. Today during the disaster that is beginning because of the Japanese earthquake, she was drawing out on a napkin the possible scenarios for a nuclear disaster. I marveled at her understanding of what she was describing. My first feelings when hearing about the meltdown were fear and panic. Because of her in depth knowledge and calm description of what was occuring, I was able to understand that we were not in danger. I am sad for the people of Japan. They have every reason to be fearful and afraid because the danger is within miles of their homes.
I think of my daily walk with my Father and how His words prepare me for understanding the events that happen in the world. My children will tell you that I am a worst case scenario type of mom. If it’s bad and I can dream it up, it’s probably going to happen to them. In my mind anyway. I am the world’s worst panic person when it comes to my children. Now let something actually happen to them and I am a pro at being calm and steady. But the what if syndrome is high on my list of capabilities. That’s how I ended up almost having a heart attack and now have to take antianxiety medication daily. I had what iffed myself into almost shortening my life.
These morning devotions have done much to calm my fears down. In my study of the deeper meaning of the scriptures, along with the devotions from such writers as Beth Moore, Max Lucado, Kerry/Chris Shook, and others, I am able to understand that there is no place for fear in a Christian life. Our Abba has assured us that no matter what, He can and will take care of things. It might not be easy. There might be a lot of pain and heartache involved. There might be death and destruction on a grand scale. But it’s all in His hands. We have been promised life eternal just by believing in Him and being covered by His grace.
When our youngest son first left for Afghanistan, I was overcome with fear. I cried for days and was practically paralyzed from it. I couldn’t eat or sleep or even hold an intelligent conversation. But slowly, with the help of God, my prayer sisters, my family, and my friends, I came out of that stage. I learned all I could about the country, the people, and the war. I was a junky for all things Afghanistan on the news and in the paper. I read Psalms 91 over and over again, finally coming to grips with the fact that He was in charge. Not me. So there was no need to fear. No need to what if myself to death. Now next to youngest daughter’s husband has left for over there and I am able to feel confident that all things are in God’s hands and He is going to be there with him every step of the way.
I think that the power to overcome fear and panic comes from an increase in knowledge of the events that are occuring. God gives me that power through the study of His scriptures and through the time on my knees in prayer. He gives me the power of the Holy Spirit who I can call on at any time for answers. Through those answers I receive the peace that surpasses all understanding. Phillipians 4:6-7 tells me “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.” NIV
So when I begin to stress and what if, I pray that prayer to myself. Of course I am not always completely successful. There are times when I wallow in my fear. Just yesterday I was afraid for next to youngest daughter and grandson as they flew to Hawaii. Tsunami’s and earthquakes and volcanoes filled my thoughts. They, of course, were comlpetely oblivious to the danger’s that surrounded them. I mean really! Playing on beaches and eating snow cones while I was here worrying myself sick!!!! The nerve!! I know that they will be fine. I know that the people of Japan will recover. I know that our Abba has everything in His grasp and will make sure that things go as He has planned.
I pray with you that the people of Japan will be covered in His Grace. That they will have the things that they need. That their bodies will be warmed, their faces covered from the elements, and their stomachs filled with food and water. I pray that their spirits might be lifted and their hearts kept strong as they rebuild their lives. We are all one as the body of Christ and when something hurts one, it hurts all. I pray especially for the children and the elderly as they are the most fragile among us. Help us Father to pray mightily on their behalf. We pray for these things in the name of Christ Jesus, Amen.