Whereas last Friday Jesse told me that I could come back to PJ's on Monday if I was up for it, today John called to tell me the end has come. No surprises there. The last boat was supposed to be leaving town today. I'm somewhat disappointed that I could not work the whole last week and a half available to me, all because I accelerated too fast one time for about 2 seconds. Many bucks of opportunity cost!
On the other hand, Kiki has been so ill. I hate to think of her being home, scared, without me being around. PJ's schedule was so demanding; I was gone over 15 hours a day.
But now what? Once my leg is better, then Tradesmen may or may not have work for me. I may or may not drive truck for Midwest. All I know for sure is that my last check is about gone, I do have bills to pay, insurance expires at the end of June and Kiki is very sick.
Which leads one to fear.
I was lying in bed this morning looking at my deeply sleeping wife. She had been up a lot in the night I know, so I was very glad to see her breathing steadily and resting well. But fear began to assail me like acrid smoke rising out of a pit: Thin and wispy at first, but pungent and thickening. 2 Tim 1:7 came to mind. I had to research the reference, but I know the verse in song, and it means a lot to me: God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
That choking smoke feeling I was getting in regards to my family's near future was not something God wanted me to have, or even endure, but a vaporous threat to be dismissed with a waving hand of faith in Him and His provision. I began to think about the three 'spirits' that God provides in the stead of fear: Power, Love and a Sound Mind.
Some fearful threats we face come at us with a force that can only be repelled with a greater forceful response. This is why a country must keep a standing military. If we have a ready powerful arm, neighbors and enemies simply know better than to attack. Peaceful relations are likely to follow, but if some rogue nation makes a stupid attempt on our territory, we are ready because we have a 'spirit of power' at hand.
The same is true in a city prepared in advance with a solid police force. Citizens are better protected from danger when they keep a standing bulwark of trusted, trained men at hand.
And a man's home is safer for his family if he is ready to protect it from outside marauders with some form of defensive power. And why the most cowardly of criminals choose to break into the homes of the feeble or elderly; it is simply a calculation of where the responsive power may be least likely encountered.
In the spiritual realm, the power we have is in the name of Jesus! There simply is no greater name, or power, that can overcome that Name. He is all, He has done all, He rules over all, and in Jesus' name, we have the victory!
Whatever the threat may be, the Christian who trusts in His name can rest in knowing that whatever assails, can only be broken, or seem to prevail.
Some fears come at us in an emotional sense only. The extremely shy person, the bully, the very sad disheartened man or woman, the alone and the elderly: Life for such people, and many others, presents only one day of fear after another. What hope does one have of overcoming the bad marriage, the insecurity, the reality of a shortening, and failed life?
If Love is the greatest of faith hope and love, it is because in love, we can find the hope to continue even without a comfortable resolution of life's issues. Love brings us the faith to say, 'Oh well', or 'Praise the Lord anyhow!' when our circumstances will not or do not change.
I may be so deep down afraid to go visit a neighbor who needs some help, but by appropriating and applying the full love God has for me, and so, of course, my neighbor, I can actually get myself out the door, or to pick up the phone; thus, overcoming the work of fear that would curtail the work of God through me.
A SOUND MIND
In our world today it is the battle for the mind that seems to wage the strongest. All the while armies are training and building; that terrorists are recruiting and plotting; that countries are experimenting and testing their aggressive hardware; people are busy arguing and fighting, fretting and fuming, posing and postulating over every issue day in and day out. The media and the counterculture, the blogs and talk shows all have something to say, and each is convinced that his view is absolutely correct.
And each one should be. One shouldn't have a view if he isn't confident of its value. But the tendency to hold tenaciously to a questionable view is where the fear comes in. Sometimes we are so afraid of being found wrong that we fight for an opinion, and all of the associated opinions, as if it were a lifeline to a rescue helicopter. But God offers the Spirit of a Sound Mind. One that doesn't concern itself with the ramifications of having to admit a mistake. It assures us that being ultimately proven true by God, being in line with Jesus (whose other name is, in fact, Truth), having a 'sound mind', is what really matters in the end. With that awareness, and with our thoughts tested by the spirit of God, it doesn't matter what mistake we have to admit to, nor what unpopular stand we have to take.
It would seem that God has us covered. We have no need to fear.