Tag Archives: fear

When Fear Makes You Want to Turn Back

“He [Moses] was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us. But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.” Acts 7:38-39

At some point in life, everyone struggles with something that makes them a less than best version of themselves. This can be a lot of different things – drugs, alcohol, food addiction, pornography, eating disorders, unhealthy relationships, and unhealthy emotions are just a few examples. Whatever it is, God always offers us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), and points us down the path of healing and restoration. A path that offers forgiveness and transformational change.

But change is hard and, at times, downright scary. We can’t always see to the other side of it, and that makes us question our ability to keep going. We see an example of this with the Israelites when Moses lead them out of Egypt – out of the slavery that held them in bondage for four hundred years. For generations, the Israelites cried out to God to free them from under the hands of the Pharaohs. When God finally did, the transition was difficult and scary. The unknown path ahead of them drove fear into their hearts. So much fear, that it says in their hearts, they “turned back to Egypt.” They were afraid of what God would ask them to endure, so they thought it would be easier to just go back into slavery.

Fear of the unknown is a powerful enemy to our hope, and can cause us to turn and walk away from the path that would have healed us, and we go back to the comfort of what we knew. That familiar path may seem easier, but it only leads to death. Often times, a slow and painful one.

Tired One, I have been in this place. I can tell you from experience that once you know the truth, going back presents a more miserable and heart wrenching alternative than any unknown you may be facing. 

There is an old song by Sara Groves called Painting Pictures of Egypt. I remember the first time I heard the song. I was driving in my car, wrestling with what felt like a war over my purpose. The enemy was whispering lies about how much God was asking of me, and how easy it would be to let someone else do it and slip invisibly back into my comfortable existence. I turned up the music to drown out the enemy and the words of Sarah’s song pierced my heart:

“I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt, leaving out what it lacks.
The future feels so hard and I wanna go back.
But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned.
Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.”

When what lies ahead suddenly feels like too much, we sometimes look back on our past with blind nostalgia. We paint pictures of our Egypt, conveniently leaving out the pieces that caused us the most pain. 

Loved One, what is your Egypt? What do you search the sands for when life breaks you? Is it not your Father in heaven who loves you more passionately and more endlessly than all the grains of His sand? You only need to have the faith of a mustard seed to believe His promises that are yours. Allow His transformation to hold you and teach you a truth that will never again fit into that past life. 

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Jeremiah 6:16

Be blessed,
C.K.

B Cells

I sometimes feel envious of those in the medical profession, who have had the opportunity to study the amazing complexities of our bodies in gross detail. Gross is probably a good word to use because all that study involves seeing and touching all the stuff on the inside. I guess someone has to carry that burden, and thank the Lord it isn’t me.

What I’m most enamored by, are all the amazing examples God has given us through those complexities, about who He is and how He works. Today, we’re going to take a look at one of those examples. B cells. I’ll ask all my medical friends in advance for their mercy as I oversimplify this, and hope we can all exchange the gory details for the spirit of the message.

When your body is fighting an illness, it’s fighting something called antigens, which are foreign molecules that don’t belong in your body. When an intruder is detected, your body’s alarm system goes off and sends special cells that fight those antigens. Some release enzymes that kill the foreign objects. Some turn on the body’s immune system and trigger our B cells to make antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to the antigens, rendering them useless. The picture that comes to my mind is someone jumping on the back of an intruder, wrapping their hands around their eyes, and watching the chaos ensue. I imagine the intruder stumbling around, trying to figure out what’s going on, until they find themselves crashing into a wall and falling onto the floor. The antibody sits on the intruder until help shows up and halls him off to jail.

I allowed myself some interpretational liberty there, but I think you get the point.

That whole process is amazing in and of itself, but here’s something even more fascinating. Those B cells have memory. That’s right. Memory. That means they now recognize that intruder and, if he ever comes back, they know more about him, and how to fight him off.

The difficult things we go through in life can be a lot like this process. We get hit with foreign objects we don’t understand at first. Things that threaten our spiritual health. The Holy Spirit is like the cells that trigger and turn on our spiritual immune system, and our faith is like those B cells that fight against the attack. The antibody? Jesus, of course. No attack is pleasant, but once we walk through it, we learn and grow and equip ourselves to not only recognize, but fight it off quicker the next time.

Sometimes the most inspiring part of getting through a disease is not the healing itself, but what’s happening inside of you during the good fight.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world, but He also told us not to be discouraged, because He’s already overcome them. I believe part of that story of overcoming isn’t just about overcoming illness – physical or spiritual. It’s about how you are overcoming amidst the pain of the journey, and that is what is truly inspiring.

Today’s writing was inspired by a couple I recently met, and I was deeply moved by their story. They took the terrible intruder, called Cancer, and turned it into a story of hope. Every day, since that journey began, they put out a Facebook post, “C the Good,” where they list all the ways God is good, and all the good things coming out of their trial. What an inspiration. They are vulnerably inviting people into the midst of their pain and turning it into hope for themselves and others.

Chose to be a lantern amidst your storm. Chose to be light to those around you. Be a beacon they can see and follow. In doing so, you’ll build your own spiritual immunity, and be more equipped to call on Jesus to calm the storms that come your way more quickly.

Be blessed,
C.K.

Fear of the Dark

It’s been a long day and your thoughts surrender to the quiet of the evening, and the longing to close your eyes and drift off to sleep. You make your way through the silenced rooms and hallways, closing windows, checking locks, and turning down lights. Satisfied you’re secure, you ascend the stairway, your way lit by a dim light coming from the lamp beside your bed. As you slip into the cool sheets the only thing on your mind is how comfortable your pillow feels beneath your head. You reach over and turn off the lamp. Darkness floods the room unnoticed as your eyes are already long closed.

In an instant you’re startled by an unfamiliar noise, and fatigue is replaced by uneasiness. There’s a strange, almost sudden, feeling that overcomes you. It’s a feeling you haven’t experienced since you were a small child. Fear. You begin the process of rationalizing with yourself all the possible things that could explain the noise you just heard. You wait, silently and tensely. Only quiet. You take a deep breath, laugh to yourself, and return to drifting.

Your whole body is jarred to an alert state as you strain to focus and search the darkness for the cause of this intrusion. You wrestle between the notions of climbing under your bed to dial 9-1-1 or screaming out in confrontation, in the hope they flee back into the shadows they came from. You stand, blindly searching for anything you can swing or throw. In your frenzied search the lamp next to you comes crashing to the floor in a tremendous thunder.

Footsteps ascend the staircase with great speed. There’s no time to call. Terror grips your throat and silences you as you fight to even take a breath. Your heart is pounding so hard you fear you might have a heart attack. Finally, your eyes have focused enough to see a figure at the door of your room. You manage to channel the last bit of courage you have to form the only words that make sense in that moment – “Oh God, help me!” You hear a snapping sound and the room that was once filled with darkness and fear dissipates in an instant, and is flooded with light.

You have no words as you find yourself staring face to face with your husband, who is supposed to be out of town for two more nights.

As kids, we often experience a fear of the darkness. It’s a fear more properly exposed as the unknown. We fear what we can’t see, and our minds create impressions of mean, scary monsters and indescribable creatures or intruders, whose sole purposes are to bring terror to our hearts.

Everything we do in our flesh represents that darkness. We see things with a skewed or darkened perspective. However fictitious this story, it defines something far too real in our everyday lives. When we live in the dark, our physical senses make up the only inputs of our truth and we end up accessing situations based on what we can see, feel or hear in our flesh. It’s impossible for darkness to exist within the light (2 Corinthians 6:14). When we ground ourselves in the knowledge of God, we’re turning on the proverbial flood lamp. We can now see things in a perspective that’s no longer subjective, but truth.

Are you grappling in the dark? Are you giving way to fear of the unknown? Flip the switch and see things for what they really are. How? Get into the Word of God. Learn the life breathing truth that will change your view for the better. God is light (1 John 1:5). Ask Him. Ask God to give you spiritual eyes and enlighten you with His wisdom and knowledge. Ask Him to turn your darkness into light.

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

Isaiah 42:16

Be blessed,
C.K.