Encouragement, Faith, God's Love, Jesus, Life

Do Not Fear {Finding Life :: A 30-Day Challenge }

I thought having babies was pretty courageous.  Four times I went into surgery for Cesarean deliveries.  I would do it all over again for the lives of our children that were birthed.  No regrets.  Life was birthed.

Since our children are all grown up now, I  thought life would settle down a bit.  Turns out, there are new horizons for this mama and new forms of courage  needed.  I’ll take childbirth, even by way of surgery, but don’t give me colonoscopies and mammograms and the like.

For whatever reason, these simple tests bring fear all over me.  I’m a wimp-sissy.  The mammogram was scheduled for today and days before it even happened, I had called friends and family to cover me in prayer.  Mind you, other women have this done all the time and never tell a soul about it.  Me?  I’m a nervous wreck and need all the support I can get to get through it.  Wimp, I tell you.  Pure wimp!

This morning brought a reminder from my reading in Bread and Wine~Readings for Lent and Easter.  There’s always more to the story and Lent isn’t the end …it’s actually the beginning of celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ for the rest of time and eternity.  It’s the power behind all life!

Joyce Hollyday  gave “An Invitation” in chapter 69 …an invitation to “courage and joy.”

She reminded me that  “Jesus regularly reminded His followers not to fear their enemies or the uncertainties that lay ahead.”  “Do not fear, only believe,” as He tells a desperate dad looking for healing for his daughter  in Luke 8:49-56. ” ‘Do not be afraid’  were Jesus’ first words to them.  The message attended his birth, his ministry, his death and Resurrection.”

Life is full of uncertainties.  They say it’s life-giving to have regular mammograms and other check ups.  They say “early detection” is always best to saving lives.  But it’s full of “what if’s”.  What if they find something wrong?  What if they determine you need further treatment that could make you deathly ill before bringing  life-giving healing?  What if…?”  What if …?”  It always feels like there’s a 50-50 chance of whether  it will turn out good …even when you’re doing all the right things!

Maybe that’s why Jesus mentioned, “Do not fear” so much in the Bible.  He knew we’d need to hear it over and over again. He knew I’d need that again this morning and I’m pretty sure it’s no coincidence I read that particular chapter again on this particular day.

There will always be uncertainties.  There will always be plenty of things to be afraid of.  You put in what you think is good and you don’t always get good in return…not always in this life, anyway.

You love your kids and teach them about Jesus but they ultimately have to make their own  choice about a relationship with God.

You buy organic food and follow all the best-laid-nutrition plans and still get sick.

As  a woman who loves and follows Jesus, I love that Joyce Hollyday reminded me of Mary and Mary Magdalene …two women who “loved with such a perfect love that they shed their fear.  Empowered by their faith and their encounter with the risen Christ, they ran on to proclaim what they had seen and what they knew to be true.”

Whatever happens in life, I know my Redeemer lives!  I know He heals.  I know He rescues.  I know He restores broken relationships …broken marriages …broken hearts.

“With courage and joy, let us claim that same spirit that dwelt within our sisters, the first witnesses of the Resurrection.”

Joyce Hollyday

Bread and Wine ~ Readings for Lent and Easter

No matter what neighborhood you live in or the  situations of life that feel way over your head, God’s mercies are new every morning.  His faithfulness carries you through the day.  He watches over you  through the night.  His love never fails. 

#Day13 ~ Finding Life :: A 30-Day Challenge


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