When my boys were teens, my husband and I took them to an amusement park. I reluctantly agreed to accompany them on a roller-coaster ride.
It was one of those big old wooden monstrosities. The kind of roller coaster that shakes and tosses you around inside the cart until your sunglasses fly off your face and most of the contents of your purse fall into the abyss below the tracks.
As the roller coaster thrashed us about, fear crawled up the back of my throat. The only thought in my head was, I am going to die!
“This is terrifying!” I shrieked to my son. “I hate this. How do I make it stop?”
“You can’t stop it, Mama,” my son yelled back. “You just gotta do it scared!”
There was nothing to do but hang on and ride it out.
Rationally, I knew that millions of people had survived the ride, but at that moment, I didn’t feel as though I was going to.
Are you being shaken?
How often had I felt that in life—that shaking, throttling, rattling, and being tossed about to the point where I wondered if I was going to make it.
Haven’t you felt that way, too?
When the fear creeps up on you and your mind is filled with Whys? and What ifs?
That’s the ugly, scary part of fear. The powerful unknown. Fear wants to paralyze us so we do nothing but worry and fret.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we can take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
In the midst of all that shaking and being tossed about, we have the power to make our thoughts—the very things that are wreaking havoc on our emotions—obedient to Christ.
Don’t agree with fear
When the enemy of our hearts, souls, and minds can paralyze us so that we don’t remember that God is in control and nothing is impossible with him, he has successfully taken us captive.
Friend, if you could do something to stop or thwart the thing causing fear or worry, you would, right?
Since there is not, you have to face down your fears—be the boss of them—and make them submit!
I have an acronym that reminds me of what fear really is:
Fear is from the pit of hell, not the throne room of heaven.
3 ways to boss your fear
One way I boss my fear is to follow the trail of fear to the end.
I ask myself, “What is the very worst thing that could happen?” It may be unpleasant, but it’s likely survivable. That truth helps me send fear packing.
Another way to boss your fear is to speak out who God is: all powerful. He is not distant. Your God can do the impossible.
There is something about speaking the fears out loud that lets God’s truth shine. When you speak the troubles out loud, your mind and heart and the Holy Spirit are better able to deal with them. God will be present with you, and where he is, so is his peace in you.
Walking through a moment or season with a friend will help you keep your balance. She can counter your unhealthy self-talk and bring reason to all your conversations. You would be her sound board, guardian and armor-bearer, so do not hesitate to call in reinforcements.
I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment about how you have faced down your fears … or plan to.
Verse for today: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 4:6–7
Prayer: O Lord, there is so much unrest in our world today. Hurricanes and fires and riots and disease. Make me brave so I can face down my fears, take my thoughts captive, and put on your peace. I need you more than ever. In Jesus’ name, amen.