Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fighting fear leads to victory and joy!

For the last couple of weeks, my friends and I have been talking about how often FEAR is the root of our issues.  Fear of what someone might think of us can keep us from sharing.  Fear of the "what ifs" can paralyze us and keep us from moving ahead.  Fear of change.  Fear of nothing changing.  Yes, fear seems to be at the bottom of many, many troubles.  I mentioned yesterday that my family just returned from a wonderful time away at an indoor water park.  Needless to say, this is a favorite of the kids (and some of the adults!).  But this park, while it is amazing, offers some very challenging things for the young ones.  Lia (age 10), Ellie (age 7 - almost), Zeke (age 4 1/2) and Anna (age 2)  faced many fearful things during our time at the park.  That is except for Zeke!  He didn't seem to be fearful of anything!  He charged ahead and went on any slide that he was allowed to be on!  He is quite the kid!  Anna also, was not very afraid.  As a matter of fact,she thought she should be able to do everything that the older kids were doing.  She really believes that she can swim!  The first couple of times on the slides in the toddler area, she needed to hold a hand going down the slide.  But after that, she was determined to go it alone.  
Lia was a wonderful big sister, helping her up the stairs and onto the slide, over and over again.  But Lia was a bit afraid of the "big" tube slide that mommy and daddy wanted her to try.  She had done this slide last year, but she was still worried about trying this again.  Gwen finally convinced her to try it, and then she asked to go over and over!  She conquered that fear!
Ellie was very fearful of the indoor/outdoor hot tub.  She really wanted to try it, but the transition between the two spaces was very scary to her.  I took Lia and Ellie and promised that we would not "force" Ellie to try the outdoor space.  Slowly we showed her that it was not really that scary and within a few minutes, she was happily experiencing the wonder of being warm and wet while it was cold around you! 

Ellie was fascinated by the steam (fog) hanging over the pool!  I just loved to see the wonder on her face!  After she conquered her fear, she asked to go back to the hot tub over and over!  Ellie was also a bit afraid of the lazy river.  But after several times around with all of us, she was ready to go! 
The lazy river was a bit tame for Zeke.  He just sort of tolerated the time going around and around.  It was a good time to let the kids actually take a breather from the constant motion! Not so bad for the adults either!  It's really good exercise to chase after 4 little ones at a place like this!  
It was clear that Zeke much preferred a bit more action on the tube......
As I said, not much fear in that one!  He loved the action and went on this slide over and over and over.  

Anna was about ready to jump out of the tube on the lazy river every time we passed by the waterfalls!  It became a game to her and she looked for those waterfalls at every turn!  She wanted to play in that flowing water!

By the time we left the water park, we had 4 very tired kids and 6 very tired adults!  But what a great lesson this time was for me.  I watched the kids face some really big and real fears.  And they pressed through, accepted help from people they trusted, and then celebrated with joy when they were successful. I need to let that sink in and learn from their example!   

The phrases "fear not..." and "do not fear" or "don't be afraid"  appear over and over in the Bible.  It is as if God knew that we would all face fear every single day.  He made sure that His Word would be the help that we could lean on and trust to help us press through into victory when we are fearful.  I am going to make a list of all of these "fear not" verses and focus on these!  Here are a few to get you started on your own journey..........

Psalm 118:6 -  "The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid"
Hebrews 13:6 - "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid"
Isaiah 44:8 - "Do not tremble, do not be afraid"
Isaiah 41:10 - "Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God"
Acts 18:9 - "Do not be afraid, keep on speaking"

I am going to start each day with a "fear not" verse and then I will remember the joy and excitement of Lia, Ellie, Zeke and Anna from this weekend.  What a wonderful lesson learned at the water park!

Jesus, thank you so much for family time that fills me up and spills over into lessons that keep speaking to me.  Holy Spirit, help us all to face our fears and hold on to the promises in your Word.  Thank you for the smiles and laughter and fun of children.  Help us all to climb to higher places (outside of our comfort zones), be willing to lean out of our safe zone to splash in your living water (that is pouring out to the world around us), and most of all celebrate!  Amen

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