After the game, we took Jordan to the emergency room. The CT scan confirmed what we already knew. His nose was broken. There are a lot of details about that next 18 hours after the ER visit I’ll leave out. Things like what the doctor said we should do, what we thought he should do, what was the best thing to do, the advice of an athletic trainer & other athletes, the advice of grandmother’s & friends, but to sum it all up…He played the next day too. :-)
As I watched him play the following afternoon, I felt fear. Fear that something else would happen, Fear that he would be scared of the ball, and I was a little apprehensive to say the least. But as I watched our son face his fears I was so encouraged. As I watched him field ground balls, make throws to first, hit the ball, steal bases, and play the game, I could see apprehension in him too. There was obviously some healthy fear he was feeling, but he battled it, overcame it, and I was inspired and honored to watch our son & the choices he made that day to not “live in fear.”
I believe there is a healthy fear and an unhealthy fear. Unhealthy fear can be paralyzing, but healthy fear can give us needed caution. Unhealthy fear can lead us to make rash decisions, but healthy fear can guide us to wise choices. Unhealthy fear can fuel addiction, but healthy fear can keep us from going back to what will harm us. Unhealthy fear can destroy families, ignites wars, and leave people hopeless, but healthy fear can guide men and women to decisions to make families stronger, bring others to a process of peace, and live courageously. Fear is a powerful emotion, and I have battled conquering unhealthy fear all my life.
I believe that unhealthy fear is one of the greatest weapons of the enemy. It is a spirit sent to cause confusion, doubt, and render us ineffective in the purposes God has for our lives. The Bible says in I Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
The Bible also says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer” Proverbs 9:10-12.
The healthy fear that Solomon describes is where wisdom begins. By recognizing there is a power greater than us and submitting to the Lord’s leadership in our lives,by faith, our days will be fuller and filled with the rewards of love, joy, peace, contentment, & hope. Solomon also says that unhealthy fear will leave us worried, confused, and ultimately feeling alone.
If Jordan had lived with a “spirit of fear” then he would have sit on the bench, nobody would have blamed him (lets get that out straight), and taken several games off. But he didn’t. He got back into the game, played well, and then after the game came home and went fishing! Healthy fear caused us to be cautious & aware, but unhealthy fear didn’t keep him from what he desired to do. He lived with Power, Love, and Discipline! The rewards were just as Solomon described.
Dr. Judge M. Lyle said, "Someone has said that the basis of action should be love and not fear. Theoretically that is true, but in practice it does not work out that way. There are legitimate fears. Fear of ignorance causes you to seek an education and fear of poverty makes you work. Fear of disease motivates you to practice healthy and sanitary living. Fear of losing your job will inspire you to show up on time and do the best you know how to do. Fear of failing a class will drive a student to spend extra time in the books."
Zig Ziglar said, “From time to time I use the acrostic "F - E - A - R" for "False Evidence Appearing Real." However, if the evidence is real, we should certainly have some healthy fear. There's real fear in walking across a busy street without using the crosswalk. There's legitimate fear in driving your car at excessive speeds under any conditions, but particularly where the visibility is poor or the streets are slippery. We must learn to distinguish those helpful fears from the harmful ones. When you can do that, fear is a friend. Until you learn to do it, however, fear can be an enemy.”
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I must understand that the enemy’s desire is for the “spirit of fear” to cripple & render us all ineffective in the Kingdom of God. I’d say he’s done a pretty good job of utilizing that tactic in many of our lives. People live with unhealthy fear daily. When we do, we fail to realize it will always keep us from truly walking by faith and experiencing God’s goodness. Unhealthy fear is always rooted in deep dark places in our lives. We must have the mindset of David after he had allowed unhealthy fear to bring pain an isolation into his life. He said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” Psalm 139:23-24.
David’s fear of not living the best life God had for him overruled any unhealthy fear that may have been lingering. He was done! No more excuses. No more lies. No more lingering issues. He wanted to be on the path to “everlasting life,” and he knew the only way there was to deal with it all.
We all face questions rooted in fear every day. Will this work out? What should I do? Where should I go? What is going to happen? But things will only change when we CHOOSE to walk by Faith, apply the Word of God to our circumstances, and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit IN us above all other voices.
What if Adam and Eve had applied that in the very beginning? What if they would have recognized the healthy fear of staying away from the fruit God told them not to eat from? How different things would have been. Instead they allowed the unhealthy fear to creep in which caused them to think "God's not telling us everything," and the rest is history.
We have to take God at His Word. Believe that ALL things are possible. Know that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love (healthy fear) God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Remember…“ And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
I’ll leave you today with some of my favorite words that Jesus spoke to us all.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27