Monday, May 24, 2010

Caution or Fear?

There have been several child abduction attempts frighteningly close to our home. The bold, in-broad-daylight-in-front-of-others kind that make you feel sick. I have really been battling with fear because of that. I want to protect my children from a person whose only intent is to harm - my mind can't even go there. But I don't want to cause my precious children to live in fear. I want to go on with my life, but I don't want to take any unnecessary risks either. So where do I draw the line between caution and fear?

As my husband prayed over me last night, I decided to really look in the Bible for the answer. God is pretty clear on this subject of fear. I was surprised how many times I came across "fear not" just in the book of Genesis alone. God doesn't tell us that He'd rather we weren't afraid. He says, "Fear not, I am your shield" (Gen. 15:1), "Fear not, for I have heard" (Gen. 21:17), "Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you" (Gen. 26: 24). One of the sweetest verses on this topic comes in the book of Isaiah (God keeps drawing me back to this book lately).

fear not, for I am with you;
   be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10
God's perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). He has promised that He will be with me and uphold me. The key, for me, seems to be to spend time with Him and let His love and reassurance flow into my life so that the fear retreats. I must admit that it is still in the background, and probably will be until this person is caught, but it is an issue that I am actively dealing with. God can't reassure me if I don't spend time with Him. God can't uphold me if I'm trying to do everything in my own strength. I'm trying to rest in Him and to fight this battle on my knees. God certainly wants me to pray protection over my home and my community because He can be everywhere at once and I can't. I will go on with my life (hopefully less fearfully) but we will be a bit more cautious of our surroundings. So where is the line? I'm still not sure. I do know, however,  that God will fill me with the wisdom and strength to overcome my fears if I'm willing to cling to Him.

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