Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"That's Kinda Creepy"

Is there such thing as a healthy fear? Can those two words be used in the same sentence? Jacob and I were sitting in the den when I noticed he was in deep thought. "Mommy, is Santa Claus going to come down that chimney and put presents under my tree." To which I replied, "That's how it works." (I don't have time today to share my thought on the whole Santa thing, so for now, just work with me.) Jacob asked again, "Santa is going to come down that chimney, right there, into my den and put presents under my tree." "Yep." was the answer he received, to which he replied, "That's just kinda creepy." If you think about it, he is right. It is a little creepy to think that some old man you do not know is going to come into your house via your fireplace, while you are asleep, creep around your den and leave presents under your tree. Jacob is right to be a little creeped out. There are some things that we need to be cautious of. For example some friends have recently share with me some of their fears which included, snakes, spiders, sharks, the dentist, mice, all of which are probably very rational things to fear. (Well, maybe not the dentist, but apparently anxiety ensues for this individual.) We should steer clear of snakes and spiders and any other animal which could be harmful to us. Sharks are a good thing to be cautious of too. Do not go too far out into the ocean. A few years back as my brother's family left for the beach my mother reminded him to watch out for sharks to which he replied, "Don't worry about us. If you hear of a shark attack it will not be us unless that shark climbs out of the ocean, along the sand, up the boardwalk and makes its way into the pool." He was being cautious. Not to mention they really like the pool. But what is the difference in being cautious and being afraid? I think the answer lies in your reaction and in how it effects your daily function. Do you lie awake at night thinking about shark attacks or in fear that a spider will crawl over you in the night? Are you so paralyzed by your fear of snakes that you don't go outside during snake season? When fear begins to control us it is not healthy. When we cease to allow God to be in control then we are no longer being cautious, we are living in fear. When because of our fears we act in ways that are contrary to scripture we can no longer hide it under the guise of caution, but must call it what it is...sin. It is ok to be cautious but it is not o.k. to allow that caution to turn into a paralyzing fear thus resulting in sin against a Holy God. Jacob is right to find the idea of Santa Claus creepy. He is not the first of our children to feel this way. I want my children to be cautious of creepy men finding their way into our home, but have we canceled Christmas or does Jacob lay awake at night in fear of this event. No! He is just a little creeped out. The only fear that is truly a healthy fear is our fear of God. Tomorrow we will look at what it means to fear God. To be quite honest,this concept has always be a little too much for me to rap my head around. I leave you with this to ponder until tomorrow. 'The fear of God is the giving over to Him all that we are and have because He is perfectly trustworthy." Elisabeth Elliot

Psalm 91He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will sayof the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge-- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

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