The invitations are everywhere. We’ve been invited to God’s very best. There is a bouncer who calls Himself fear, and he’s scary. Or she is. At first she seems nice. As crazy as it is, I think that we’re friends. It’s a mystery to me because she never lets me in. I guess secretly, I presume that she values me. It’s as if she wants to protect me from something inside. I trust her. Because clearly she knows better than me. She’s loud and quick on her feet. She knows things I don’t and catches all the tricks. Fear is bossy and seems to know all the answers. She tells me where to go. Every detour en route is her turf. She is there. It makes me feel safe.
Something feels wrong, but I can’t place it quite yet. There’s something Fear isn’t disclosing to me. I begin to fear what she doesn’t say more than what she does. Surely it’s too scary even to mention the unmentionables inside. For my own good, she keeps quiet about these perplexing unknown to me factors. This guard of the doors keeps me quite distracted. So I never get too close to the truth. What is it? What is she hiding from me?
I can’t shake my curiosity. I must know. I stalk her, looking for clues. I check all the places where I’m usually quite certain to find her. I search each location for hard evidence. Something I can take to my lab. Night and day, I probe. I dissect. I dig, and I study. What am I missing?
With intense obsession, I comb all this evidence. What do I see? Where does this trail eventually lead? I follow these breadcrumbs to other people like me. Many I’ve seen before now, and I thought they were threats. I’m compelled to look closer. I uncover the cords attached to their souls. They’ve been tricked. Fear has mastered the art of pulling these nearly invisible strings. These people are victims. Her fingerprints are smeared across each and every misdeed that begs to be seen.
Her prey doesn’t know that she’s played them. They’ve been used, and they don’t even know it. Each does exactly as she plans. They all do. Some are far better at keeping these ties to Fear a secret. She’s there too. There’s no doubt about it. I brace myself to prepare for what I’ll see next.
I move closer.
From a distance, these marks seem like the usual suspects. It’s the same story. I’ve heard it all before. There’s nothing new to see here. I find myself wanting to maintain a healthy detachment to all of this. I’d rather not get too personal. Why is that?
Then I start to stir inside. Something is trying to surface. Why am I suddenly so anxious? The sweat beads cold just under my skin. What’s the reason for this clamminess now filling up my insides? My chest is pounding. I’m queasy. I know something I don’t want to know. These victims are me. I’ve been fooled. She played me. All the places we went were a lie.
What didn’t I see?
It was the blessings. All the glorious blessings. I missed them. There’s so much reward that I’ve missed because of this Fear. I feel sick.
I start to rehearse all the things I should have done differently. There are all these ways I could have prevailed and taken hold of these many good things. I grieve.
That’s when something else becomes present with me. It’s comfort. This feeling is something I haven’t known before now. It’s something other than this world. Something other than what I can even understand. This presence makes me feel strangely secure. A certain peace which I cannot describe seeps deep into my being and spreads calmly throughout my entire body and soul. Why is my spirit so quiet and calm? Nothing seen has been changed.
The inaudible whispers wrap me like a warm blanket. Suddenly, I know. This is Love.
I’ve been soothed by something- Someone- more certain than Fear. I still feel her nearness, and yet I’m not afraid anymore. Love can be trusted. Somehow, I know it. No longer do I need it explained. There’s a knowing so deep in my bones, that I sense it’s always been there. He never confused me with a pretense of posture and answers. Or pushy demands. No less, He was there. I just didn’t see Him.
What does this Love now wish me to see?
The blessings haven’t gone anywhere. They’re right where I left them in the very start. Now I know what Fear doesn’t want me to see. It’s right there. It’s all there. It’s still there. Love is here, to lead my way. He shows me a new way. Love is the way to everything good. Fear taught me that. Thank you, Fear.
You’ve pointed the way, and now you’re in the way. It’s time to say good-bye, to you. Now I know how. I don’t need you anymore. You’re just something I got used to. I’ll get used to this too. The invitations are mine, and you can’t have them. I’m taking them back. I want to use them. I intend to take them inside, all the way in, to where God has told me to go. I’m invited. It says it right here.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
I’m afraid you’ll have to stay here, Fear. I’m going in. You can chase me inside, but I’m still going in. The thing is, I’ll already be in. And once I’m there, perfect Love will cast you out. He told me so in His letter to me. It’s there in my memory. I just forgot for awhile. But thankfully, my Love never forgets His promise to me. Even if I do.
“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You loved them.” Psalm 44:3
My friend, the invitations are written, but we have to receive them. Do you struggle with that? I wonder if Fear keeps you just on the outside of everything good. All God’s best is waiting for you. What might Fear have to teach you if you listen in close? I wonder. Will you let the whispers of Love finish your story?
Will you knock? Love wants to meet you on the inside. What are you waiting for!
Let’s reach for abundance. Let’s reach high and wide for Love poured out, over us. Our Savior’s come to rescue us. Let’s not keep our Love waiting. It’s time to go to Him. Will you come with me?