Thursday, May 27, 2010

Unreasoning fear

8:46 a.m. Today's project is to tackle head-on the unreasoning and unreasonable fear I have concerning driving to Los Angeles tomorrow for a 7 a.m. appointment at the Federal building, where I will turn in all of the documents in a sealed manila envelope to the US department of State, and receive my son Steven's passport in return. He's flying to Toronto for a photo shoot paid for by the supplement company Muscletech, his bodybuilding sponsor.

There is cerainly no lack of issues the enemy has plagued my mind with: getting my husband Steve up by 3 a.m. for a 4:30 departure time, so we can take advantage of the carpool lane considering that he is pretty disoriented in the mornings due to his Alzheimer's; unforeseen traffic delays, like the freeway construction that caused us to miss a flight to Seattle one year; parking, which I will look up to see if the building has its own spaces; some bizarre snafu when we do get up to the counter; and falling asleep at the wheel on the way home. Lastly, even with my up-to-date contact lens prescription, my eyes aren't that great in the dark.

That's quite a list! Returning home without the passport, or assurance of it being overnighted to us for the Sunday flight--another early morning drive to LA!-- would cause a firestorm back here at home. Unfortunately, saying, "It looks like it wasn't God's will for you to fly to Toronto," won't be much consolation for Steven, even if that is a scriptural fact!

Worry and anxiety are like gnats getting in a believer's eyes, momentarily distracting us from God's love and good plans for us! Like any other Christian, I am familiar with those two irritaing emotions! But this irrational fear is new to me, a person who has quoted (and lived) Proverbs 28:1 for 30 years:

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9), and extreme fear is nothing new; in fact, that adrenalin rush helps in our self-preservation. But what God designed for dire physical emergencies wreaks havoc when there is no actual real-time danger: on our bodies, producing cortisol; our minds, robbing us of sleep; and our spirits, causing us to fear God won't take care of us! Fear has been causing my imagination to run wild with every bad scenario imaginable.

I couldn't help thinking of David, who became so frightened of King Saul that he ran to King Achish of Gath, and when he identified him, David "became afraid of what King Achish of Gath might do to him. So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard. Finally, King Achish said to his men, 'Must you bring me a madman? We already have enough of them around here! Why should I let someone like this be my guest?' So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam." (I Samuel 21:12-22:1, New Living Translation) Don't tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor! I am so looking forward to teaching I Samuel this summer to our ladies' Bible study!

Well, a merry heart does good like a medicine, Proverbs 17:22 says, because I just had an uncontrollable laughing fit over poor David's plight. May the Lord build and preserve my courage today, and my peace for all of my days!

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