Manipulated by Fear

Fear.

Fear manipulates the truth.

Fear contorts our beliefs.

Fear cripples us lie, by lie, by lie.

Fears lead me to a place where anxiety and a lustful desire for control rule. Where sadness and grief become all consuming. A place where I want nothing more than to know the future, to know the end results, and to control my steps and protect my heart accordingly. My circumstances right now don't lend themselves to control. They indeed are the very opposite of 'being in control'. They lay my heart on the table for tromping all over, again and again and again. It hurts. It's painful. And for as long as I'm walking in my manipulating fears the pain will not subside. 

But yet, the Lord has met me time and time again in this place. This lowly place, where I'm consumed in myself, and not experiencing my true position as a branch connected to the vine. And He speaks to me in these desperate moments, "Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." (Hebrews 4:16)

Habakkuk cried out a similar, albeit more strongly worded, sentiment as he struggled to comprehend where God was in the midst of Judah's grave sins. "How long, O Lord, must I call for help? "Violence is everywhere!" I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever watch these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted." (Habakkuk 1:1-4) He cried out these words to God and God responded. And He cried out again to God and God responded, again. 

I surmise Habakkuk is teaching me we can pray boldly in Jesus name. We can seek Him with honesty (and passionately!) as we bring our questions and disappointments to Him. We can be real with God. We can bring our fears, doubts, pains, anger, all of our emotions, to the feet of His throne, no sugar coating required. And God will respond. Our God is not a distant God. Our God is a gracious, merciful, just, loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God.