Weekly Devotion Aug 21, 2018

Psalms 34:4 CSB
I sought the Lord , and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.

Many of you may not know this, but I have fought with fear my entire life. I remember being a very small child, maybe 2 or 3, and my parents took me out trick or treating on Halloween. It was a fun time, I assume, though the only thing I really remember about it was seeing a large frog and tripping while running away. I remember my costume being torn (because it was the 80s and they were all made of plastic) and my knee being skinned up. What my parents probably saw as something I'd outgrow, was not the case.

By the time I was 12, I was scared of nearly anything that crawled. Lizards, frogs, roaches and snakes being at the top of those lists. I refused to be in rooms in which any of the above had been seen (because we lived/live in FL, lizards in a house can be a pretty regular occurrence), even if they had been "eliminated" (or what my mom referred to as a crisis averted).

Fast forward 12 more years and my every plan, every daily task, every decision is being made with phobias in mind. I remember my son being so young. We lived in a place in which the laundry room was off of the back porch, so lizards loved being in there (probably the warmth of the dryer), and I would go weeks without doing laundry in the traditional sense; rather, I would wash small batches in my tub or sink. I even went to a laundry mat once. The reality was, I was afraid to enter a room in my house because of one of God's creatures.

Fast forward another 10 years and I'm moving into the country, into a home with lots of land, a pond, and lots AND LOTS of God's creatures. It is a beautiful place, but since I've lived here, I've never been able to enjoy the beauty of what God created and blessed me with. Many days I would spend in our Florida room; looking out over the beauty that is my back yard, yet too afraid to go out and experience it. One day, however, Jesus showed me his love and mercy like only He can and told me that if I laid the fears at His feet, He would release me from those phobias.

Since the beginning of this month, I have been meditating on this verse. I have thanked the Lord daily for taking on my fears and releasing me from them. I am proud to say that last week, on August 15th, I was able to go out and help with yard work for the first time since I've lived here (2 years). It took my total dependence on Jesus. There were 3 times in that hour I wanted to run off screaming, but I turned to Him, told Him I could not do it on my own and He met me right there. To my own surprise, I actually mowed the entire front lawn!

My motto used to be, "I don't do nature." But my prayer is to one day be able to be outdoors and not freak out over every little thing that crawls or flies by me. I KNOW with all certainty this will happen, because our Father is faithful and true to His word.

It is my prayer for you that you too would be released from your fears. See, the thing about fear is that it never starts out debilitating but always ends up that way. It does not come from God. He has not given us a spirit of fear. May you go with God today and know that you can do all things through Christ! 💕

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