What do you fear? Spiders?  Snakes?  Water/boats?

My worst fear came to roost from when my mom had bypass surgery. I went to see her in ICU.  She was still intubated, awake, and restrained so she couldn’t pull the tube out.  That was just so…wrong!

I had to undergo double bypass in 2003. My worst fears did NOT center around whether I’d survive surgery.  Julie and I had talked and prayed, and we realized that I’d either wake up to her or Jesus.  Neither were unattractive alternatives.

I was, however, terrified that I’d wake up like my mom did; intubated and restrained, unable to talk, communicate or even breathe by choice. Breathing is very high on my list of favorite things.  What terrifies me is not being able to; drowning, suffocation…anything to do with the absence of air just scares the heck out of me.

When I have a cold and my nose gets stuffed up, I have to work at staying calm as I try to go to sleep. Just having one nostril blocked makes me wonder if I really need to sleep after all.

There are other things that I’m not at all fond of. Some so-called reality shows where you must endure eating, being buried under, or otherwise interacting with vile things – living or not – are not  my idea of a good time.  It brings to mind a quotation from an old play where a young actor is describing some unpleasant part of his play to a middle-aged woman.  He tells her, “Hey!  It’s part of life.”  Her retort?

“So is diarrhea, but I don’t find it entertaining.”

Yeah, there are unpleasant things in life, but not breathing – put a plastic bag over my head and I’ll confess to anything!

“It was ME in the elevator!!”

I recently started reading the post of a quadriplegic woman and her battle with depression, frustration, and relying on God for her strength. She has good and bad days.  I imagine the swings are wider than most of ours.

Imagine lying in bed or sitting in your wheelchair. Your nose starts itching.  My, my; what shall we ever do?  “Oh, nurse!”

“Alright, let’s move me to my wheelchair. Please keep a firm grip, eh?  Wait!  The arm the arm THE ARM!!!””

I find the prospect terrifying; it seems part and parcel of the whole suffocating/claustrophobic for me.

Control. At the end of the day, that’s the name of the game.  What’s you worst fear?  Take a look, and I’ll bet lack of control is in there.  Hate spiders?  Why?  Because they’re creepy, crawly and show up unexpectedly.  Control.

Go to Biblegateway.com Search “Fear Not.”  There’s a whole boatload of verses that come up.  I like the headliner:

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’   Isaiah 41:10

Are you suffering, thinking God has abandoned you?

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”   Exodus 20:20

Are “They” out to get you? Being sabotaged at work?  Socially?

“You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.’”   Deuteronomy 3:22

Well, OK, if you MUST fear something…

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”   Matthew 10:28

Of course, fear in this case is a bit more like respect, but recall that St. Paul exhorts us to work out our own salvation “With fear and trembling.”

I’ll wrap this up with a good summary verse. At the end of the day, this is where it’s at.  Whether you’re feeling 100% or slogging through the negative numbers, whether you’re the picture of health…or not so much,…

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7

Because, if you haven’t got your mind,…

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