Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lent Day 12: Panic stations

What makes you panic? Chokes off your breath and makes your stomach heave?

Do you remember riding the roller-coaster or Zipper at the fair as a teenager? I loved loved loved the upside down, flip me over, screaming-with-adrenaline jolt of those rides. I tried them a few years ago and hated it! My life had become so hectic and stressed that there was no margin for physical shocks. Besides, older bodies handle balance differently. (Don't believe me? Try soaring high on a tree swing. There's a reason - besides weight - that kids use them more than their parents!)

Some people start out timid. They lack courage until they become confident, one small success after another. Others begin with a roar, climbing the fridge at age 2, skiing the bunny hill at 3, and never looking back. Many of us like learning new things, but learn caution as we go along. A few become debilitated by fear: their experiences devastate their confidence.

Among Jesus' disciples, Peter was the early adopter and fearless flyer. Thomas was more cautious about accepting what he was told. Each of them found a role in God's kingdom. Jesus accepted them as they were and built character and stamina into his followers.

He can do the same for me. And for you.

What are you afraid of today? How can Jesus help you through? Start here:
1. Commit your whole self to God, fears and all.
2. Admit that you're not in control .. and never have been. We often fear what we cannot anticipate, plan for, or dominate.
3. Cast your cares on God, who knows the past, present, and future. He is big enough, smart enough, and loving enough to see us through and to make things go as He has determined they should.
4. Lodge your present fears and future hopes in God's reliability--His unchanging Goodness and Justice.
5. Live in the moment. Enjoy the day. Though it is wise to plant crops for a future harvest, anxiety about future rain or hail ruins the view of today's sprouts or a field of golden grain!
6. Be grateful. "This is the day The Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Count your blessings!

Read more:
You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Psalm 30:3 (NIV)

*She [Wisdom] offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. Proverbs 3:16–18

*The disciples woke Jesus up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. Luke 8:24

*For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, "Don't be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What's more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you." So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island. Acts 27:23–25

Moravian Prayer: Master of wind, wave, and fire, we are terribly aware that the fiercest storms that threaten us can come from within rather than without. Lead us to the calm center where you are with us. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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