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She lived in terror for her own life! Thats what womens advocates screamed. Thats what her defense attorney emphasized. He pleaded that she had been demeaned enough, had lost enough, was grief-stricken enough, and that prison time could do nothing to redeem the situation.
She is the childs mother. As parents, we have a sacred duty to protect our children, no matter the danger or the consequences. That was the position of the DA and most in our community.
Im not asking you to choose a side. I want us to think for a moment about what lies underneath this incident. I want to us focus for a moment on fear fear that paralyzes and intimidates, fear that shuts us down, immobilizing and debilitating us.
Have you ever been terrified? I dont mean going to a really scary movie or for instant of sudden, but passing fear. Im talking about an ongoing sense of absolute terror for your own life, and the lives of those you love!
As the debate raged about this mom and her lack of response, my heart broke for her. I have known terror. Ive worried about having put my whole family in jeopardy. It was a long time ago, but every now and then, something happens and it comes back like a cold paralyzing wave.
|Fear has the power to destroy Gods work in us.
Hopefully in our time of fear, a brother or sister in Christ and will step in and buy us some time to sort out our fear. Hopefully we will courageously keep doing the mundane things that are necessary for life, and open the door to the Spirits presence. But in the crucible of real life, ultimately there comes a time when those of us in fear have to decide whether or not we believe in the promises of God to give us ultimate victory beyond death. We have to decide that God is with us no matter what the circumstances are that we are not alone in facing our terrors and that Gods Spirit will strengthen us AS we do whats right, even when we are not sure we have the strength to do it!
When I was a boy, filled with images of John Wayne movie courage, I thought that a courageous person did not experience fear. Now I know better. I understand that Gods Greatest saw the face of fear and prayed, Let this cup pass from me. He saw the terrors of hell would have to face on the Cross, and he asked to be delivered from them. But looking fear in the face, he went one step further: Not my will, but yours be done. If he could not be delivered FROM his terror, he was confident that God would deliver him THROUGH his terror. In the end, this is the ultimate test of faith, and this is the ultimate proof of courage.
When Jesus came to his disciples on the stormy waters and said, Fear not, I AM! I dont believe he was saying, Dont let fear cross your minds. No, he is saying, In the face of fear, recognize I am here. Dont let fear stop you from what Ive called you to do.
There is a difference between feeling fear and being mastered by it. There is a difference between being afraid and being immobilized by it. Courage is seeing the face of fear, and then choosing to call to the one who insures that it can never have us, our great I AM. Courage is seeing the face of fear and refusing to have it be our master.
HEARTLIGHT® Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
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