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Posts Tagged ‘#donotfear’

The fiftieth anniversary of the lunar landing was just last month. Before it happened, it was viewed by many as impossible, too risky, too costly, too hard.

On June 6 of this year was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the D-Day landings, a sacrifice that is still known as the beginning of the end of WW2.

This November will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a tumbling by ordinary citizens of the Cold War and communism.

These are examples of efforts that were hard, risky or costly that resulted in a “giant leap for mankind.” 

Doing the hard things is … hard. It takes perseverance, determination, time, risk, and effort. It makes us uncomfortable, nervous, sweat and our hearts race.

It is easier to just stay where it is safe, easy and predictable.

“An individual develops courage by doing courageous acts” — Aristotle

Many of us have prayed for patience, only to learn that there is only one way to attain patience … by being in situations where we must be patient.

It is the same for developing our strength or courage … to attain such we must be in situations that require us to do what is uncomfortable, even fearful, or hard.

The more often we do the things in life that are hard, the stronger we become.  

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Some of us will say, I cannot do those hard things, because they make me anxious, and I struggle with anxiety. And sometimes, we need to take a break and fill our cup before we can dip our toes in the water.

But, to attempt to do something hard, even in a small way, can create an amazing sense of encouragement and strength, to the one who is anxious.

According to neuroscientist, Philippe Goldin, “Exposure is hands down the most successful way to deal with phobias, anxiety disorders, and everyday fears of any sort. Simply repeatedly exposing ourselves to the thing we’re afraid of — ideally in a positive way — gradually brings down the physiologic fear response until it’s gone, or at least manageable.”

Baby steps are still moving away from where we are to a new location.

We all face opportunities in our lives to do hard things. For some of us it is a new job or career, for others it is returning to study, for others it is saying no, or getting on a plane, or picking up the phone, or telling someone you love them, or … walking out your door.

Let’s do the hard things, at least one hard thing each day … one small step for man.

“For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:13 

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Do-Not-Be-Afraid-1024x399

As Saturday fell, and Sunday rose, so did the first Sunday of Advent … the Sunday of Hope.

It is interesting that the Christmas story, though one of hope, has fear woven through the human experience of heaven’s story.

The angels who came down and spoke to Mary, Zachariah, Joseph and the shepherds in the watching their flocks were aware that their presence, and the message that they were delivering, would cause fear in the hearts of the recipients:

To Zechariah:
“Don’t be afraid, Zechariah!” Luke 1:13

To Mary:
“Mary don’t be afraid …” Luke 1:30

To Joseph:
“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid … “ Matthew 1:20

To the shepherds:
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.”” Luke 2:10

It is said that in the Old and New Testaments there are as many exhortations to

DO NOT FEAR

as there are days in a calendar year.

Fear is a reality in our lives … we know it, God knows it.

The Bible doe not exhort, (“communicate emphatically, urging one to do something” Google search) us to not fear, because it is the exception, but because it is the norm.

God, in his wisdom and understanding, knows that we will be anxious, that we will fear in our lives. He knows that we struggle to trust our futures into his hands. He knows us so well!

The message of the Christmas story is not:

fear not, for everything is about to get easier

The Christmas message is:

life is fearful, but you don’t have to walk it alone, for God is with you always.

 

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