There’s a lot to be afraid of anymore. I was watching a Christian talk show about a week ago, and they were talking about transfat, and how it’s becoming apparent that it contributes toward Alzheimer’s disease. It literally shrinks your brain, and seems to also contribute to strokes. In fact, New York City and Philadelphia have outlawed transfats in all of their restaurants and other metropolitan areas have followed suit.
Then there are the school shootings that seem to be popping up everywhere. And Obamacare. Cancer. Hurricanes and tornadoes. Identity theft. Heart disease. Drunk drivers. People who abscond children for sex trafficking. Unemployment. And the list goes on.
We all have our “favorite” fears…things that gnaw at us. Because my father had dementia in conjunction with Parkinson’s Disease, and I watched him become someone who didn’t know me at all at a fairly young age–his late 50s–I fear Alzheimer’s and dementia. So when I heard the thing about transfats, that hit me right on target.
But then, I was reading in Isaiah, one of my very favorite books in the Bible, and here is what my wonderful Lord and God said to me. It, too, was right on target:
For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying,
“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary…” (Isaiah 8:11-13)
The enemy wants to control us with fear. He wants us to walk in fear, and believe that God has control over some things, but not others. Or that, possibly, God cares only about some things, but not others. I sometimes have a tendency to think this way.
For example, I made a point of getting my tax return in early this year. I kept waiting to get my refund, and after waiting for about 4 weeks, I finally called the IRS to see what the problem was. The woman on the phone said they were holding my return for 30-60 days. No explanation. I asked if they were going to audit me. She didn’t know. I’ve done my own taxes for nearly 20 years and never been audited. But suddenly, I felt very worried. The IRS seems like a giant looming in the shadows, waiting to pounce.
But then, I took a deep breath, and remembered that God Almighty is way above the IRS. Way above. And if they are holding my return, He is absolutely aware, and may even be orchestrating this. Exhale. Whew. OK. He is still God and He’s got it handled. He doesn’t want me to worry.
God is the only thing we need to fear or dread, and it is a holy fear and dread He expects from us. If we love Him with our whole heart, that holy fear comes naturally. And it is, essentially, a deep respect for who He is. And here’s the best part: when we have a holy fear and dread for Him, He becomes our sanctuary. Our sanctuary! What words come to mind when you think of the word “sanctuary”? To me, I think of peace, quiet, beauty, rest. That is what God wants for us.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff when compared with our God. Don’t intentionally eat transfats, but don’t become obsessed with it either. Ask God to cleanse your food, and bless it to your body. Ask God to protect yourself and your family. Ask God to help you eat healthy and exercise, and thank Him for your good health. And if the IRS comes knocking at your door, praise Him for that, too. They might just tell you they owe you more than you thought.
Don’t let the enemy make you live in fear. Remember, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear… (1 John 4:18) There is only one perfect love, and it is from our heavenly Father. And if we abide in His love and trust in it, and fear Him only with a holy fear, we can dwell in perfect peace. He will be our perfect, peaceful sanctuary in a world that has little peace to offer. Praise our magnificent God.