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Fear

Fear

When you are gripped with fear, do you come out fighting, or are you motivated to change direction?

I’ve been an avid practical joker for as long as I can remember. On occasion I have been told that I go too far. For a deranged prankster like myself, this is rewarding. However, on a few occasions a failed prank placed the chills of fear back down my spine.

My dad, as the great caregiver, always made sure he was the last person out of the house whenever we left. He took this seriously particularly because the isolated location of our rural family home left us vulnerable for frequent petty theft visits. On more than one occasion we came home we came home to interrupt a robbery in progress. My dad was very aware that it was important for him to be the first one back into the house to assure safety for the rest of us. On one very memorable occasion as we were preparing for departure, I decided it would be funny if I snuck back in the house through the back door. If I did it right, I could be hiding behind the door that my dad would undoubtedly re-enter for one final “bad guy” check before we all drove off. I excitedly crouched down behind the door so that I could startle my unsuspecting father as he entered the house for one last “would-be criminal” sweep. I remember my heart racing and holding back a muffled laugh as I crouched there thinking about the fear that would grip my brave, heroic dad. I could hear my dad’s strong steps approach the door and witnessed the slow turn of the old doorknob. I would have to lurch into him at the perfect moment to fully activate his fear. My timing was perfect from what I remember. The next few minutes remain blurry to this day. With great, animal-like enthusiasm, I leapt toward my unsuspecting dad. My arms flailing as if I was trying to frantically wave down a cab on a busy New York street. I had done it! For a split second I witnessed total surprise and fear gripping my dad's face. I had surprised my dad to such a degree that I apparently triggered his fight or flight mechanism. The last thing I remember was his large, strong fist coming at me with cat-like reflex speed. The fear that coursed through his veins immediately created an action that left me breathless on the kitchen floor while my dad stood over me apologizing for the automatic action his response to fear had triggered. We both laughed for days after the incident, although my laughter was thwarted by the bruising in my young abdomen.

When God allows circumstances to enter your life that create fear, do you react with fight or flight? Financial stresses, cancer, COVID, joblessness, even aging, can strike great fear in our hearts. Do you react by confidently relying on God and forging forward knowing God has already won the battle? Do you fly in another direction leaning on your human effort to find a work-around? Maybe you just freeze in debilitating fear…

My friend, God's got this! We all know the end of the story for those who are in Christ Jesus. Not only will God make a way...The way has been made!!!

“I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)

Eric Bowman


Eric Bowman ovalEric is our associate pastor, working with outreach and youth ministry as well as adult discipleship and growth. Eric retired from a 28-year career in public education as a high school band director in 2019 and is now living his lifelong dream as a pastor.  Eric and his wife, Diana, continue to live in Henry County where they have been lifetime residents. They "raised" three children and are now making their best attempt at "raising" themselves.

 

 

 


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