Have you ever read a passage in the bible—one you’ve read many times before—and God just speaks to you?
I don’t know how many times I’ve read about Saul’s and David’s lives over the years. But this time? The Lord showed me many things I never considered before. I noticed how differently Saul and David responded to fearful situations.
Maybe the stories of these two men spoke so deeply to my heart because I, too, have dealt with fear. I discovered valuable, timeless lessons to take away from their examples.
Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing some insights God has given me. If you’ve missed past posts, you can find them here. I hope you’ll share your thoughts, struggles, and victories here so we can all encourage each other, and maybe even pray for each other.
Many years ago, when Peter was still a tiny baby, I already struggled with the fear of him rejecting me as he grew older. That rejection wound carved crevasses in my heart, hollowing me out and filling those spaces with the poison called fear.
I was determined to love my little guy, but I was scared there would come a day that my love wouldn’t be enough for him.
Living in the shadow of fear is a no-win situation. It skews our thoughts, our hearts, our intentions. It slants the way we love and interact with others.
But, that baby . . . he began changing my life in ways I never could have anticipated.
I recently (re-)read about the lives of Saul and David and noticed a number of things about fear.
We’re introduced to Saul in 1 Samuel 9-10. Some donkeys wandered away from his father’s property. Saul and a couple servants were tasked to go find them.
I wonder if he had any clue on the day he left to go find the wandering donkeys, that his path would angle toward kingship, not just being a son to his father.
Who knew when Saul sought out Samuel for answers about the goats, that the prophet would change his destiny? Instead of being a donkey-herder, Saul would be a leader of people. The very first king of Israel.
It wasn’t Saul’s idea to ask Samuel, it was his servant’s. But, Saul followed and found the seer.
Samuel knew God’s plans for Saul. When he told the younger man he would be king, Saul deflected, pushing the words back toward Samuel.
I can only imagine how shocking Samuel’s message was to Saul. He had come in search of donkeys and found a new calling. He only wanted to find the animals and go back home.
I love how Samuel (speaking for God) gave Saul assurances that this truly was God’s plan. Samuel anointed Saul and spoke prophecies that came to pass. There was no reason for Saul to doubt God had given him the kingship.
And yet . . .
On the day of his coronation, Saul tried to hide. Which wasn’t easy for a man who stood head and shoulders taller than everyone around him.
I’ve always wondered why Saul hid. Perhaps he was scared. Being scared is a normal thing. But when fear sneaks into our thoughts, we have two choices. We can listen to it, or we can ignore it.
That day, Saul listened. It seemed better to hide than to be celebrated as the king of Israel.
I wonder if he feared the expectations of the Israelites? Or perhaps his own inadequacies? The responsibility?
God didn’t allow him to stay hidden. And Saul was coronated as king.
When we embark on something new, unknown, hard, we will struggle with our thoughts, our perceived inadequacies. What we must remember is that, if God has directed us, He’ll walk with us as we learn to live out His calling, to fulfill our responsibilities. He never simply waves our direction, saying, “Best of luck to you! See you on the other side!”
No, He walks with us each step of the way. He holds our arm when we stumble. He strengthens us when we call on Him.
We have a choice. Will we walk out our calling—the change in plans—in our own strength? Or, will we seek Him, and trust Him to guide and encourage us along the way?
When we choose to walk in our own strength, fear slithers in. Because in our hearts, we know we’re not able to accomplish what God’s given us. Fear tends to dictate our actions, our plans.
When we walk with Jesus, there’ll be times when we feel afraid, but we can count on Him to help us. We may do that thing scared, but we’ll do it with Him as our steadying presence.
And as for those early days in fearing future rejection? God has a way of preparing us for each step of the journey. I haven’t done everything right as Peter’s mom. In these teen years I don’t fear his rejection. God gives His wisdom and insight in each interaction with our boys. And I know that, though Peter may not always like me, he does love me.
What about you? When has fear tried to dictate your responses in a situation? What’s one lesson you’ve learned to help you overcome fear?
I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup and #TellHisStory