How ironic that my blog about fear was delayed by quite a frightening experience? I wonder how many of you can relate to being stretchered off a mountain by ski patrol? Let me just say that it’s not recommended, but the team at Okemo, VT were fast, professional, kind and reassuring.
Now to the matter in hand… When I first thought about a Bible study for military wives, I began to brainstorm topics and time and again, fear, worry or anxiety came out at the top or close to it.
There’s no other feeling quite like fear. Cold fingers of steel close tightly around your heart and your stomach drops. Then there’s anxiety where you feel your heart start to flutter like a hummingbird, your temperature rises and sometimes you even see stars. Worry is subtler but no less effective. It’s like that noise that’s just louder than white but not really distinguishable – extremely distracting. You can’t stay on task at all when worry is eating at you from the inside out.
One of the fastest ways to create any of these feelings is to have a husband deployed somewhere dangerous and to spend your time watching the news and reading the papers for information. Eventually the truth always sets us free, but sometimes it’s very unhelpful first.
For the Christian fear, worry and anxiety are tricky enemies. We’re not really supposed to feel them. Jesus even told us not to, and He didn’t mince His words. In Isaiah 41 God tells us that not to fear for He is with us, will strengthen and uphold us; and then two chapters later reminds us that we belong to Him and have been redeemed and called by name.
In Jeremiah 17 the Lord gives us a wonderful picture. He tells us that we are blessed by putting our confidence in Him, becoming like trees planted near water – nothing to fear when the heat comes because our leaves are always green.
In Matthew 6 as part of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus reminds us that He loves us deeply and that his eye is on the detail of our lives. So why should we worry? As He who gave us life says, it won’t add a single hour to it.
But how do I not worry when people are trying to shoot my husband out of the sky?
Jesus has that answer too. He told us to come to Him with our burdens because He can bear them. He promises to take whatever is weighing us down and replace it with rest. He came that we would have abundant life (John 10:10). Not life without trouble, He warns us about that, but armed with the knowledge that Jesus overcame the world so we don’t need to be afraid of whatever comes our way.
Practically speaking, to not be afraid is a choice. No one, not even the Lord can expect us not to feel fear when those we love are in danger. However, almost 20 years loving a military man and taught me that the more scripture about not being afraid I soak in, the more slippery I become to the clutches of fear and the easier it becomes to choose to put my energy into trusting Jesus’ plan for my life instead.
Thanks for reading this today – I hope it was useful. If you’d like to know more about my Bible study for military wives, please get in touch.