When You’re Afraid Afraid

It’s not uncommon for me to go arms-a-flailing if I think I’m being attacked by a swarm of bees…or a fly. It’s rather grandiose and entertaining to those around me who stare motionless for a half a second, then proceed with a look that says, “What the heck was that?” Many just come on out and say it. When it comes to flying bugs, let’s just say… I’m punchy.

Instinctive fear, I suppose. If it’s flying, I’m flighting.

Fear. So many things to be afraid of. So many things we are exposed to that cause us to get punchy about the future. We might look cool on the outside, but inside our stomachs are full of flying insects and our invisible arms are flailing hoping that we can somehow swat the fear of whatever might be coming our way.

Fear. So many things to hide from. The past. The mistake. The secret sin. Those things swarm us and we whip around looking for where it’s coming from only to find that it really does allude us, and then we cower, waiting for it to come at us again. It’s exhausting.

Fear of what was. Fear of what is. Fear of what could be.

 

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Recently, I went on another hike at a nearby heaven-of-a-place in the heart of Nashville. For this Okie, these are mountains. They are covered with trees. Huge, gorgeous trees. Breathtaking trees. This particular day, I played a podcast that a friend had recommended. A local pastor, Scott Sauls, was on deck as I heaved up the hill one more time.

It was one of those messages. One that came right place, right time. Here’s the takeaway.

He was teaching on the glory of God that came to the shepherds at the time of Christ’s birth. And what do they say? “Do not fear!” Riiiiiight. Apparently the Greek says they were “afraid afraid.” Double afraid. Doozy afraid. Really, really afraid.

I’ve known afraid afraid. Not bugs, but the world of the “What if…..” I hate that world.

But the Glory that shown around them ushered in fear. That Light of God exposed the darkness of the world, thus exposing our vulnerability. The Light that walked in the Garden with The Couple exposed them when they sinned, and they hid in fear.

The Light revealed what Adam and Eve ushered in…. we are all going to die.

We are exposed.
Vulnerable to the instinctive knowledge of our tenure on earth.
And we are terrified.

Sauls said there was the disorienting light that shown and scared the wits out of them, and the comforting light that offered the redemption of the world in a baby.

This light and it’s disorienting/comforting manifestation is made reconciled in one word: Glory.

The Glory of God shown round and exposed all that was. The Glory of God shown round and comforted all, giving peace and favor on all who believe.

(enter revelation in the hike)

When Sauls kept saying “the Light of God” did this and that, and it is the Light of God that exposes the fact that we are indeed vulnerable, temporary, weak and powerless, I was….. RELIEVED!

I realized my instinctive fear and concern for my life isn’t from a place of lacking faith or weak trust, but from the fact that I’m a human who has seen the Light and what it has exposed. It is natural to realize that our lives are fleeting, small, open, exposed, vulnerable, because it is what God revealed to us through the sin of Adam. And, therefore, it is supernatural of us to realize that our lives are bolstered, cared for, favored, blessed, lavished upon, and redeemed because it is what God reveal to us through the grace of Jesus.

Same Light. Same truth.

Vulnerability. Death. Comfort. Life.

IMG_3925(The A-ha!)

If then, all those passing, jarring anxiety-juiced moments when
“was that a lump?”
“what if one of my kids gets sick?”
“does he love me?”
“am I beautiful?”
“am I worthy?”
“do I matter?”
“I’m not like her.”
“I am weak and afraid”

Those moments, when they pass through our minds because of our vulnerable and exposed state, we must say one thing:

God’s Glory is Greater

God’s Glory is Greater, loftier, weightier, heavier, stronger than any shame, any fear, any vulnerable place or thought. The Light that exposes our darkest fears and sin, is the same Light that infuses itself in our souls providing redemption, peace and marks us with favor and blessing.

We are as vulnerable as we will ever be because of the revelation given to us by the Light; and as safe as we will ever be in that same Light.

The weight and majesty of His glory both reveals our tragic weakness and yet lovingly holds us in his Almighty greatness. We cannot escape our vulnerability, and as those of The Way, cannot escape the love of this great grace. We are worse off than we realize and safer than we could dream. This is the great paradox of the revelation of God’s Glory.

Rest deeply in your vulnerable state my friends.

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