“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.”
Someone asked me, “What does it mean to face your fear head on and not run away? What does it look like?”
I said, “That’s a very good question. Each situation is different, but in many ways, facing fear head on means knowing that the fear is there, like a fierce-looking lion threatening to tear you into pieces, but you don’t move back even one step or run away like you used to, you face it even with trembling, and you look at it in the eye and say, ‘Yes, I know you are here, I know you are scary, and I feel it very strongly, but I will be standing right here, I am not going anywhere. You do not control my life. God does, and He wants me to face you, so I will.’ It means accepting how you are feeling, and accepting how the other person(s) are feeling (if other people are involved), and not trying to deny any of those by trying to find reasons to convince yourself that it is not true, or that something bad would happen if you trust that or if you stay or if you move forward.
Now there are situations where we could take the next step forward and not just stand still, or even ‘tip toe’ like they say, but there are also situations that do not allow you to take the next step, so you stay where you are. The point is not to move forward at the moment, the point is to look at the scary lion in the eye and not shrink back.
It might sound a little bit like OCD treatment, and it does have some aspect of that, but most importantly, it is knowing your heart, knowing that you ran away before because you wanted security, and running away is not going to give you real security, it just pushes you further into a trap that Satan has set up for you. The only place where you will find security is in Jesus Christ. He has made you one with the Lord, so you are now God’s child. Nothing in this world can separate you from his love (Romans 8:37-39), and He is true to his promise, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31:6) Remember what pain and suffering that Jesus went through on the cross to redeem you, to make you a beloved of the Father, to make you the apple of his eye (Psalm 17:8), to give you his peace and security (John 16:33), then you know what you fear is a lie and it does not come from the Father, but the devil.
And this time you know you are not alone when you feel afraid, because the Lord is with you, Jesus is with you, the Holy Spirit is with you, in One – that, my friend, is the Power that created the whole world, the Power that raised our Savior Jesus from death so that we may have a new heart and a new life! And this time, you can move forward, you can run, and run into HIS arms.”
“from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I”
If we have to struggle today, let us choose and decide to struggle in the Lord, in his world where He is the center, not in our world where we are the center, for only He can truly comfort our soul and give us rest.
And as we wait for that eternal rest that the Lord has set for us from the beginning of the world, that percet eternal rest in the New Jerusalem, let us learn to rest in him now day by day, step by step, as we put one foot in front of the other, as we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Remember His faithful promise to you, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
Life is very real. It’s not all sunshine, love, laughters, happiness, singing with overwhelming joy all the time; there are also sorrow, pain, tears, loneliness, hurt, misunderstanding, harsh judgment, cruelty, poverty, and deep anguish….But that’s why it makes sense that we are in need of a Savior, Someone who was willing and did come to die for our sins, to redeem and deliver us to the everlasting joy that we are able to experience partly here on earth, and that we will be able to experience fully one day in Heaven. Thank you, Jesus!
We often don’t understand the depth of someone’s pain and aloneness until we experience a very similar suffering.
The Lord teaches us to trust Him in the midst of our pain, and love others with great compassion, just as He loves us.
In a deep pain, we might suddenly realize that sometimes all a person needs in their deep pain is not to hear you “preach” to them, but just being there with and for them, and just to feel God’s comfort, like a child closing their eyes and hiding in a loving Father’s arms.
May the Lord wrap his arms around you in your pain, that He comfort you with his everlasting love and presence. God is with you.
Counseling is a journey that we walk alongside someone – we meet them in the wilderness of their life, we listen to their heart’s cry, we draw them out, and we talk together, pray together…It’s like walking them through a devotional, only that the words are not there right in front of you, but the Holy Spirit is with you, the Lord’s presence and Word with you, walking with you through the valley of life, and leading you to slowly raise your heads, fixing your eyes on Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you.
Then, together, we sing,
“My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.”
Wounds take time to heal, sometimes it’s a few days or weeks, sometimes it could be years. The One who calls us His own is faithful and He can and will certainly do it, just like He will cause us to walk in His path where He calls us.
1Thessalonians 5:24, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
When we are willing to welcome Jesus in and allow Him to do His work in us, healing begins. As we face and struggle with brokenness in our lives and relationships, let us welcome Jesus in to start the healing process. “The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.'” (Deuteronomy 1:6)