September 18, 2010

I am strongly tempted to fear

Ever get sucked into a black hole by fear?
I have.

In her book, Secure in the Everlasting Arms, Elisabeth Elliot, a spiritual mother of mine, shares hard-earned wisdom about fear.  Her missionary husband was murdered in Ecuador in the late 1950's.  Their daughter was 10 months old at the time. 
In those circumstances, she relates "I was strongly tempted to fear."

Recently, I've been tempted to fear, too. 
The world would say I have a good reason: 
My husband's business, commercial real estate, has been at a stand still for nearly 2 years. 
He works 10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week trying to drum up business. 
He comes home and at dinner we thank God for His provisions of each other, home, food, health, family, and my job.  And we ask Him for strength and guidance to keep trying to earn a living. 

But 18 months ago, as God gently drew me closer to His heart, I realized I need to pray that He'd give us eyes to see good in this dry, scary season;  that we wouldn't give in to fear and worry; that we would learn the lessons we need to as husband and wife and as individuals during this season.   I ask, too, that our children would see our faith in God as the rock solid foundation of our lives no matter what


23 years ago.  I was a 35 year old SAHM [Stay At Home Mom] with 3 children, ages 7, 5, and 4.  We moved to the Northwest away from family and friends in order for my husband to start a stock brokerage firm.  Shortly after he began his business, the stock market dropped 500 points in one day. 
I was strongly tempted to fear. 

Soon after our move, I realized the one thing which had ever made me feel secure, peaceful, and content was my faith in God.  [Praise Him for my Christian parents!]  This dawned on me completely out of the blue, for my faith was not evident by my lifestyle.

By God's grace, I found a wonderful church family, joined a women's Bible study, and began listening to Christian radio programming.  That's when I first heard Elisabeth Elliot.  Since I was so far from home, I needed an older woman to teach me how to be the woman, wife, and mother God created me to be.  Next to my Mom, she's been my most influential spiritual mentor through her radio show and her many books.

 Even now, I get choked up with joy and thankfulness to my Heavenly Father for providing me just what I needed exactly when I needed it. 
Major grace!

Oh, yeah, back to fear.  
Today I looked back at Elisabeth and myself as daughters of the King of kings,
as young Christian wives and mothers.  
He is still the King.
He got her and me
from there to here 
and all I can say is:
What or whom shall I fear?!

"...we actually exult in such afflictions as ours, knowing as we do that affliction develops unflinching endurance, that endurance develops tested strength, and tested strength develops the habit of hope." 
Romans 5:3-5

"Who shall separate [Karen] from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved [Karen].  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  \
Romans 8:35-39
Grace and peace to you, friends.
Love, Karen

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