Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Chapter 2 : The Fear Factor
On to the second chapter of an untroubled heart by Micca Campbell. Anything is red is from the book.
I have to say my heart was lifted at hearing Micca's account of Jimmy's journey. He was a believer who although he had faith in God, he battled the fear of death. While it is true that "Worry, fear, and anxiety were never meant to be part of our vocabulary" It is none the less a very real part of our lives here on earth. We all have it and all struggle with it in some fashion.
Unfortunately during our lives there will come times of crisis, times when the battle with fear will go beyond the normal realm. It may be caused by an illness, loss of a job, or in my case the drug addiction and following incarceration of my son.
For Jimmy, his battle was brought on by his illness of diabetes. As his body deteriorated the inevitable confrontation with the unknown of death was most undoubtedly facing him every day. Fear gripped him. How gracious is our Heavenly Father to provide for Jimmy a godly wife and a loving believer in Micca to come and speak truth and love to him. "As I shared with Jimmy, peace washed over his face as he received the message for himself" "Fear not, for God is with you" As I said in my last post "the word of God is more than just good advice, it is the very power of God Himself". It is by God's power that those words brought peace and comfort to Jimmy.
Whenever we, in the love of God reach out to share his word with someone we are in effect sharing the power of God. Giving them a bit of Him. Fear does not come from God, it is a very powerful tool of the enemy. One he uses effectively to keep us from our Father. The bible teaches us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Whether we like it or not we are in a spiritual battle as we walk the earth. But fear not! For our God has given us the tools to fight. If you read on in Ephesians it speaks of the armor of God. Very powerful stuff there! God is ever present and when He sees his children struggling he is faithful to send help. For Jimmy this was in the way of his wife and even Micca. What lifted my heart the most about this story was how Jimmy's wife shared of Jimmy's experience with angels. "Jimmy, are you afraid? No, I'm not afraid, I'm just looking at the angels"
Wow! just as Jimmy was facing the reality of the fear he had battled with God sent his heavenly angels to greet him. I got goose bumps as I read that. Jimmy was a real person just like you and me. Angels are real, I've never seen one (that I know of) but I know they exist. How wonderful and encouraging to know that in his darkest hour angels led the way home.
Because Jimmy saw the angels, I have seen the angels. Friends, let me tell you I need to see the angels! I am engaged in a battle with fear that is beyond anything I have faced in my life. I am a bit weary but I will tell you I am winning! I have my armor on, God is with me, I will continue to persevere. As I share my story here and with those God has brought into my life I pray that as I am able to achieve victory through the power of God some day someone else will hear of my battle and "see the angels".
I also liked the section labeled "Walking on Water" Micca talks about the eleven disciples who stayed in the boat. She wonders "did they live with regret?" we don't know but we do know that they "did miss an amazing opportunity to walk on water with Christ". I think that prior to this year I have been one like the eleven. Too often I have let fear keep me from really stepping out for Christ.
Today I have stepped out of the boat out of sheer necessity. When the storm began raging all about me I had no choice but to go to Christ or wallow in despair. I chose to look for Him. A couple of times I have stumbled and began to sink but He has reached out and lifted me up. It has been a painful trial but it has indeed been amazing!
Each day I get up ready to face whatever new challenge there is in store, and let me tell you, having a loved one in jail presents all kinds of challenges you wouldn't even think of. I know myself, and in that I know I would NOT be able to get through my days without leaning firmly on Him. That is what is amazing!
There is so much more in this chapter, I will be re-reading it tonight and I look forward to hearing what everyone else gleaned from it. These were the things that really spoke to and lifted me.