Hi beautified ladies, welcome to another edition of the SHE READS segment of the blog where we read and review a book monthly sharing lessons and striking points learnt.
A woman’s guide to peace in every situation
Fear is a very familiar companion to every woman or lady. It’s a normal struggle and only a few dare to admit it, because we are afraid to. We are scared others would think less of us if we do.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop and look fear in the face. We can face fear head-on or use it as a tool that can empower us by drawing us into a deeper understanding of who God is.
Ultimately, we know deeply that on the other side of every fear is a freedom. The solution to overcoming fear is not positive self talk or a greater effort to control your own behaviour or the behaviour of others. The solution is a broken humility and trust in a sovereign, engaged and loving God.
Living in fear is like piggybacking a huge weight, one that we are not meant to carry. We have a choice of casting our fears and worries to God “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” I Peter 5:7(NIV) or choose to bear the burden of fear ourselves. The first response promises joy, the latter produce jitters. When we do what God tells us to do, the burden falls away. Freedom replaces bondage and rest replaces the pain that comes from the anticipation of evil.
It would be nice if we could simply erase situations that cause fear, deleting them as if they were emails in our inbox. But it’s not as easy as that most times. At such points we need to learn to rest. Rest on God’s promises and unfailing presence. He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5b.
It’s normal for to be moms or already moms to be concerned about our kids. We want the best for them, we want them to be safe and free from the consequences of other people’s evil choices and from negative circumstances beyond their control – we fear for their well-being. We are scared when they go out alone with friends or when they enrol in a new school.
Let’s take a break and meet a wonderful mum in the Bible, Hannah. She suffered years of shame and depression without a child. She finally gets one and in her bid to fulfil her vow to God, after the weaning process, she gives that child back to God’s service all the days of his life. She’d have the chance to see him only once in a year. Needless to add that the priest she was leaving her son with had no stellar reputation for raising great kids (I Samuel 2:12, 13). But Hannah placed her focus on God, trusting that He who gave her the child would keep him. Samuel became one of Israel’s greatest prophets.
We need to understand that God has a plan for every child He has/ will give us the privilege to parent. We should not out of fear or ‘care’ stand in God’s way. The most we can do is constantly pray them to God and watch Him perfect the rest. Try as we might, we can never guarantee their safety, but we can guarantee that they are never beyond the realm of God’s presence. Their lives are in God’s hands- the One who loves them more than we ever could and who has eternal purposes far beyond our comprehension. He simply asks us to trust Him.
Basing our security on things that can vanish in a flash leads only to hardship. Their disappearance leaves us wrestling with anger, bitterness and fear. But if we hold our belongings (wealth, possessions, fame, etc) loosely and base our security in God, trusting in His promised presence and help, we experience freedom that cannot be shaken regardless of what happens; and that confidence is a blessing no one can steal.
There is no way to live without fear; nevertheless, it is possible to live beyond fear. Even those of us who have faith and who trust in God are going to find ourselves in scary situations. We need to learn to appropriate for our lives the reassurance of those words the Lord repeats so often in the Gospels, “Don’t be afraid. Fear not”.
When scary situations come our way, it’s normal to have an initial response of fear. Our hearts pound and our thoughts bing-bang in every direction, concocting every possible negative outcome. That’s when we are faced with a choice, to allow fright consume and control us, or do as God says “fear not”
Whether we are filled with confidence or fear depends on the kind of thoughts that habitually occupy our minds. If we want to stand against the storm of life, we need to prepare by occupying our minds with thoughts of God’s awesome power and strength, His love for His children, His ability to do the impossible, His compassion for those who hurt and His wisdom that exceeds our understanding. We need to familiarize ourselves with biblical accounts that show what He’s done in the past and reveal His promises for the present and future. We must also recall His faithfulness and mighty acts we’ve already witnessed or experienced.
Doing these things guarantees a prepared heart when the storms hit.
Gaze at the promises, glance at the problems. Remember, God is faithful. He’ll always see us through.
Father, I praise You because You are sovereign. I’m grateful that You, the blessed controller of all things, are my helper. I have every reason to be confident and not be dismayed. I will do whatever You ask, and I know that I will triumph. When the storm rages and all appear black around me, I will trust and rely on You. Amen.