I know that today being March 1means that spring is coming in only 3 weeks. However, since that is true, I’ve always in my mind declared March 1 as the first day of Spring. I’m forever eager to have winter end so I can be back into gardening. Even though it snowed last night, I can see all the signs of spring in my mind! It is a good picture of what HOPE is like—We can see what the environment around us would tell differently.
Last night at Celebrate Recovery I heard a testimony of a man whose abuse and early life was much more harsh than my own. Once he got far enough into the testimony to talk about finding God I could easily relate. For no matter how bad the abuse of life, God can be found in it with us. The man talked about the hope he had in spite of what was happening in life. He learned to protect others when he couldn’t protect himself. He dealt with much fear when it came to protecting himself. This testimony was something God was wanting me to hear and listen to Him reflectively as similar steps were taken by God to help this man as God is helping me. Addressing fear has always been something that could paralyze me–sometimes for days. People around me wouldn’t know this by my exterior unless they got too close to the guts of me.
In II Timothy 1, Paul is telling Timothy to not let fear get in the way of his work with others. I’ve always seen fear as something to have removed so I could do God’s work. Only of late have I begun to learn that fear is a natural part of life and we are to move forward with what God wants done in spite of fear. This is called obedience and sometimes it is called courage. I’ve always been gripped by what fear led to as a child–beatings, verbal abuse and then sexual abuse continuing. This morning I asked Christ to make it clear for me how He fit into all of this. He told me because He is eternal He was very much present when the times of abuse took place but He was also present with my future knowing where I am today and how all this past would be used to His glory today. He could see what I certainly could not. At the time of abuse He gave me HOPE just as He did for the man in the testimony. It was then I could see how the testimony of last night resonated with me. When I heard the speaker say he felt hope, I knew exactly what he meant for God had done the same for me. As a high schooler I knew the days of being at home would come to an end and I had hope of never experiencing dad or my brother’s abuse anymore. Well there is more I could say here but the important part for me today has been finding God/Christ/Holy Spirit in some more moments of my past and present—Especially finding them connected to fear. It is not a sin for me to know fear. It is a sin if I allow fear any longer to stop me from completing what I know God wants me to do for His Kingdom Work.