Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘fear’

When Disaster Strikes

Boston_Bombing

(Photo from Military Friends Foundation in news.yahoo.com)

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

No rational person wants bad things to happen, but if there is one thing to be sure of in this fallen world, catastrophes do occur. What do we do then? Do we get angry, do we fall apart, do we start pointing fingers before the smoke even clears? If you happen to find yourself in the middle of the event, hopefully you are one of the courageous people who drops everything to help those in need.

Those of us who witness the tragedy from afar may have a wider range of choices of how to respond to the news. In the closing chapters of I Samuel, David experienced a devastating trial and his response is worth studying. He and his exiled army were based with their families in the city of Ziklag. Upon returning from a mission, they found that their city had been sacked and burned and all their loved ones had been taken captive. The first response was to grieve. I Samuel 30:4 says that David and his men “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. (NKJV)” So much for the stoic, burly he-man image; visualize an army of 600 warriors crying until there were no more tears to shed.

The next response was not unusual; the men turned on David and talked about killing him. David’s grief quickly turned to despair, but verse 6 says that “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” Here is where reading the Bible chronologically is so great. In Psalm 18, David records his prayer that strengthened him in the face of this adversity. David’s next reaction was to seek God’s guidance on the approach to be taken; go after the captors or not? God’s answer was clear: pursue them and you will get every person and everything back. David then went to the angry mob and rallied them to a more appropriate course of action.

I can hear you thinking, “Good for David, but I have asked God for guidance before and I never hear anything from Him.” True, we may not hear the voice of God clearly telling us what to do. Here is the key: as we develop a closer relationship with God by reading His word the Bible, as we spend time in prayer with Him every day, as we seek Him in all things, our path will become clearer every step of the way. It may not happen overnight, but remember that your journey with God is a lifelong one that stretches into eternity. Patience and faithfulness are required to develop a deeper trust in God; He will give you the wisdom to do the right thing in every situation you encounter in life.

For now, we can follow David’s example: grieve, strengthen yourself in the Lord, seek God’s guidance and then act accordingly.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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Do Not Be Afraid: It’s a Commandment!

contingency plan

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

There are few places we can look these days where somebody is not trying to prey on our fears. News about the crime rates, economy, the weather and even what might visit or hit earth from outer space all have the potential to send us running for the hills. If we spend just a little time entertaining the potential scary situations that could befall us in this life, we will find ourselves in a constant state of alert. That is not a healthy place to live, either physically with the adrenaline pulsing through our system, emotionally if we are neither fighting nor running from the source of fear, and especially spiritually, since we are not  trusting in God.

The apostle John (John 16:33) records Jesus comforting His followers in the hours before He was to be crucified. Jesus assured his followers, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) Over and over again in the Bible, we are commanded not to be afraid. Why should we not be alarmed when there are so many dreadful things and people out there? Isn’t it just natural to be afraid? Perhaps, but if we truly place our lives in the hands of Jesus, the one who has overcome the world, what is there to fear? God promises over and over again that He will be with us, will take care of us and never leave us. Psalm 121 is a great example of this promise.

To continue to fear, knowing that the Creator of the Universe is watching over us is to say that we do not think God is powerful enough to take care of us and that we need to take matters into our own hands. That is rebellion against God and will make us vulnerable to all the things which cause us to panic. On the other hand, if we trust in God, we will have peace no matter what is going on in the world.

Live in peace or live in panic, the choice is yours today. Peace to you!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

Fear Not!

mountain_top

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

I did not realize as a child what a blessing it was to be raised by a mother who was in many ways fearless. In her forties, Mom beat down her fear of heights by taking up skiing. This meant driving into the Colorado Rockies over Loveland Pass before the Eisenhower Tunnel was built. That hair-raising two lane road rose up to an altitude over 11,000 feet and offered amazing views of the world below. As children, my two brothers and I could not understand why Mom talked nonstop about how beautiful the trees, sky and mountains were as Dad drove over that mountain pass every weekend.

Not until we were grown did Mom confess that she was afraid of heights and had taken up skiing to overcome that fear. What a fun way to overcome one’s terrors, and what a great example of trusting God! Mom’s fearlessness taught us to take life head on and not to be frightened of what might happen. More importantly, Mom taught us to trust in the tender care of Jesus. I Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, “Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because he cares for you.”

The two words that cause panic, crush dreams and stop us in our tracks are ”What if…?” What if I fail? What if it does not work out? What if something bad happens? These are the kinds of nervous questions that God wants us to humbly drop at His feet. He knows exactly what will happen and He is in control, so we do not ever need to ask that silly “What If” question again. What God wants us to do besides leaving our anxieties with Him is to seek His guidance and wisdom for every decision we make and then let Him handle the outcome. Trusting in God’s care will help us to lead the confident, abundant life that He created us to live.

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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