I am sitting in the early hours of a Friday morning awake and trying to process another disaster that has and is playing out on our news screens. It’s devastating and it doesn’t feel like that long since I was last trying to process similar feelings whether it was Dallas, Bahgdad, Paris, Dakar, Syria or another location. In moments like these we can struggle to find words; we pray for those who have experienced loss, trauma and hope, we pray for those who carry out the attacks; that they would have clarity and peace. We pray for people who are fearful in the wake of these moments.
Fear thrives in moments like these. It is what results in the watching world while we sit around tables and ask; When will it end? Where will be next? What has gone wrong? It’s not that those questions are wrong for us to ask but we can’t allow fear to be the lens through which we ask them. We can’t allow fear to gain the attention it vies for because;
Fear changes our perspective
Fear messes up the order in which we see reality. When unrestrained it makes the things we fear the most seem bigger and more possible than any other reality. It will dominate our landscape if we give it the attention it craves. It pushes possibility, peace, faith, hope and love into the background. In times when we feel fear it is a reminder that we must change perspective. As someone who follows Jesus, I am reminded again that He does not fear, He does not worry, He does not panic and He does not feel lost. When my perspective starts with Him as the beginning then I see the world through the lens of faith, hope and love and these are the things that become bigger and more possible than any other reality. I never need any other reality to drive me other than His.
Hope is closer than heartbreak
Fear shrinks in the face of this perspective, it doesn’t mean that heartbreak won’t happen in our world it just means that it won’t be the possibility that we focus upon.
Fear changes our reaction
It’s impossible for fear to produce a positive reaction. Think of the last time you sensed fear in your life and I can guarantee that your reaction was one that was defensive, protective, self motivated and panicked. Fear can’t produce a positive reaction when it is the central emotion that drives us internally – it can only bring reduction in our thinking, not expansion.
I’ve heard people say that it is good to have a ‘healthy fear’ of things that can hurt us but I just don’t agree. Yes, there are things that are harmful and dangerous to us; things we should avoid but our reaction to them must be based on wisdom of those effects not upon fear of them. Wisdom produces reactions which are considered, thoughtful, proactive and peaceful. Let this be what drives our reactions, not our fear.
Father, we pray today that you will be what comes first in our thoughts. Let us see the world around us through your eyes – be our perspective and reaction. Lord, we pray for those directly affected by recent events in our world. Lord, today would they feel your peace around them in a way like they have never known before. Would they feel your hope in the midst of their heartbreak. We thank you for your mercy that rescues us and your grace that releases us.
“For in the hour of our darkest day, we won’t tremble, we won’t be afraid. Hope is rising like the light of dawn, Our God is with us, He has overcome” – We will not be shaken (Brian Johnson)