So, the calendar says it is Friday the 13th. And for many it is day filled with anxiety and outright fear. Who knew that one day and specific date could put us on "edge" and torment a majority of the world's population because of the "bad juju" people say this combination has over us.
I once lived in the same anxiousness and fears. I was drawn to the darkness like a silver dollar to a magnet. On one side, I wanted nothing to do with something that terrified me but on the other side of it, I felt like I had no power within me to resist such an ominous presence.🥺
And that is how the enemy works and why he chooses to work in the realm of darkness. He doesn't want us to know or see that the only authority he really has over us is what you and I give to him. But he is a subtle deceiver, a liar and the longer he can convince us that we are only destined to live defeated and enslaved, lost in our guilt and shame, the more we are convinced that condemnation and death is the only destiny for us.
However, I want to take this opportunity to tell you that his destiny which will end in eternal damnation does not have to become your destiny. God has other plans for you. The truth is that He has always had a more promising "hope and future" for you (Jeremiah 29:11-12). And how am I so sure about this, you might ask...let me tell you a quick story.😃
I love roller coasters even though I am completely terrified of them, just being transparent. So why do I put myself through the agony of riding them, because I keep hearing people share with me how exhilarating the experience is for them and I want to believe that I can overcome my fear by facing my fear head on though being completely honest I usually ride them with my head down to hide my terror-filled face.😂
When I became a father (four times over--I am truly a blessed man🥰) I wanted my children to be strong and not live their lives in fear. So, seeing how it worked for me to face my fears...NOT...I demanded my children to face their fears. I didn't understand at the time that I didn't have to face my fears and neither did my children because Jesus had already overcome them for me when He conquered them for me at the Cross but God would use my unfair expectations on my children to bring me to the Truth. Did I happen to mention how much God loves us (Isaiah 41:10)!✝
One day, while visiting Sea World in San Antonia with my family, I decided it was time for our youngest daughter to face and conquer her fears of Roller Coasters. In my ignorance and stubbornness I hadn't accepted the fact that this ritual had not worked with any of my other children...but of course this would be different...NOT! 😱
It breaks my heart right now thinking about how scared she was and
how determined I was to make her overcome her fear💔 but God would use a moment on that ride to begin a transformation in my heart that eventually led me into His unconditional loving arms that didn't demand me to face my fears but rather to hold onto Him in the midst of them.❤
As we got near the top of the first drop, my daughter turned to me and reaching out to me with her little and loving arms, she said, "Hold onto me Daddy and I will try not to be scared." (PAUSE-I need to get a tissue).😢 My heart immediately melted and I wished upon wishes that we were at the Cotton Candy Machine together instead of this ominous ride. I leaned over though so she hold onto me and for the entire ride we held onto one another. It would be my last Roller Coaster ride and honestly I don't miss not having that "exhilarating" feeling because I now have the love of my daughter instead.😍
In John 16:33, Jesus said that despite having trials, troubles, and tribulations, we can have guaranteed peace because He has come to overcome the fears and terrors of this world for us. We simply need to reach out our arms and ask Him to hold onto us in the midst of all fears.🔥
In Psalm 23 promises us that though we walk through the Valley of the Shadows of fear and death, God our good Shepherd goes with us to protect us and comfort us. We have a hope that will never leave us or forsake us.👑
So, instead of attempting to stare down our anxiety and fears today, and listening to a liar, let us reach out our arms towards God and hold onto Him tightly as He lovingly and powerfully holds onto to you and I through them. He always has and He always will.