"There is so much fear in us. Fear of people, fear of God and much raw, undefined, free-floating anxiety. I wonder if fear is not our main obstacle to prayer. When we enter into the presence of God and start to sense that huge reservoir of fear in us, we want to run away into the many distractions which our busy world offers us so abundantly. But we should not be afraid of our fears. We can confront them, give words to them and lead them into the presence of him who says: 'Do not be afraid, it is I.' Our inclination is to show our Lord only what we feel comfortable with. But the more we dare to reveal our whole trembling self to him, the more we will be able to sense that his love, which is perfect, casts out all our fears."
- Henri J.M. Nouwen
A Cry for Mercy
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I have spent much much of my life dwelling in fear. Fear of people, fear of God, fear of self, fear of feeling, fear of failing. The past few years or so, and particularly this past year, have been a newer season - characterized much less by fear, but much more by a subtle numbness, a creeping in of apathy (or so I think). I have, on many counts, been much "happier" and "more confident," but I've also been distant from the God who rescued me and gave me Life.
I think I've been content to make mudpies, as CS Lewis put it.
The past few days, I've heard God whispering to my heart again. He's been poking and prodding and revealing that the fear hadn't truly left, but been dumbed down and wished away. His perfect love casts out all fear... he doesn't let it sleep under the stairs like I do. Reverent fear, awe, respect - these are poor words for what I feel I must keep. The cringing fear, the hiding fear, the running-away fear - in the face of Jesus, those have to go.
I always seem to forget that it's a daily thing.
I want to choose God over all the distractions - and boy are they ever abundant! And hard to discern... sometimes... sometimes I just choose the distractions. :-(