We’re having beautiful warm summer weather at the moment; so very early this morning I thought I’d take my coffee and sit outside in the garden, look at the sea and make the most of it.
Well, I got to the back door, full coffee cup in hand when suddenly – cue thriller music – there, right on the door, it’s shiny black body contrasting grotesquely against the whiteness of the door, was a huge spider 🕷
My feet seemed to freeze to the floor; I couldn’t take a step forward – or even backward. I literally could not move. I couldn’t quite look at the spider properly – it was too gross and made my skin crawl, but I didn’t want it to take my eyes off it either in case it ran somewhere – there’s only one thing worse than a big spider in your house and that’s a lost big spider in your house! (that’s what I told myself; fixing my feet even more firmly to the kitchen floor)
So I just stood there, stuck, kind of half looking at the spider out of the corner of my eye, for who knows how long. Until the thought occurred to me how ridiculous this was, that I, a 5 foot 1 human being was afraid of a harmless creature that wasn’t even the size of my own hand.
And then I decided I would still go out into the garden …..through the other door! 🕷
This little encounter with Fear gave me some food for thought this morning.
Fear is a Liar!
Generally, when we “unpack” our fears, we will find that most are not grounded in reality but in our perception of what we believe may or may not happen.
Then, based on these perceived, ungrounded fears
one of two things transpire:
1) We stay where we are; stuck, like I was this morning, seemingly unable to put just one foot in front of the other and move forward. Or
2) We take an unscheduled detour – like my alternate route through the house. Instead of facing our fears with what we know deep down to be true, we go off on some other, more awkward route of our own making, that God never intended for us.
This is why it is important to:
Know and Be Grounded In the Truth!
The more time we spend reading and absorbing God’s Word, the more we can activate our faith in fearful situations.
Most people know the saying or variations of it “when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste, you get toothpaste” – What comes out when you’re squeezed? Is it fear, panic? Or is it faith, based on what you know to be true because you’ve steeped yourself in God’s Word? I’d love to say that I’m the second option, but in reality I’m often the quaking “spider confronter” – I’m a work in progress!
For me, personally, there was purpose in this confrontation with Mr Spider 🕷 this morning. God reminded me through this that there’s a bigger thing I need to face in my life than my irrational phobia of spiders. Currently there is something I need to step out and trust God for; but it requires taking a step forward; it’s not going to happen if I just stand here “half -looking” at it hoping it will go away because it stretches my faith too much. And a detour isn’t going to help either!
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
Do you find yourself on a detour at the moment? Are you taking an alternate route, trying to find another door, because “that one” in front of you is too scary?
What if, instead of standing there, stuck to the ground in fear, or taking an unscheduled detour, you were to just, in faith, take one step forward, then another, till you’re stepping through the open door God has placed in front of you?
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Logic tells me now, retrospectively, that the spider on my kitchen door would have run away so fast had I started walking towards it. Spiders are terrified of people!
When you walk towards Fear with the confidence of the knowledge of who and Who’s you are, Fear will turn tail and run away!
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1