“Fear not … ’’ You’ve Got to Be Kidding!: Fear in Separation

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though ______ …

” Psalm 46:10

How would you fill in the blank for Psalm 46:10 as it appears above? Maybe you’re in a fearful place today. This week let’s talk about some of our fears and discover God’s way to overcome them.


Fear in Separation

“O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. For the LORD Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth … God is the King of all the earth … God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.”

Psalm 47:1-2, 7-8

mondayIt was the Fourth of July: Feeling muggy and crowded, we walked toward the ocean for the fireworks display. My family and I were camping at Myrtle Beach State Park, and we eagerly anticipated the light show. Our children were little at the time—aged nine and younger.

In their excitement, two of our sons ran ahead. Suddenly we were separated. Just. like. that. I looked all around—the sea in front of me and a sea of people everywhere else.

FEAR. It gripped me without mercy. “Where are they? Where do we look? Are they in the ocean … did someone snatch them?” Questions rapidly tumbled in my mind as panic ascended and darkness descended.

Yet it was in the waning light that our eldest son reminded us of the glow stick carried by one of our missing sons. Praise the Lord – that is how we found them, and I have never known such relief! God cared for our family and reunited us in a way I’ll never forget.

Fear can be absolutely overwhelming. Paralyzing. Sometimes we awaken with it in the black of night, while other times it smacks us in the face out of the blue. Or it haunts us in the recesses of our mind and lingers for long periods … sometimes years.

Isn’t it incredibly comforting to know that because of God, we don’t have to be afraid?

He is our refuge … the One who shelters and protects us.

He is our strength … the One who stands by us and enables us to take another step forward.

He is a very present help … the One who stays with us and freely gives the assistance we need.

God is in control. He reigns. He knows what we face and He uses every experience to make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ.

When the darkness of fear threatens to overtake us, the light of Christ and His love for us shines all the brighter. He will show us the way … He IS the way. Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.


Devoted to Prayer: “In Quiet Places”

“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”
Colossians 4:2, NASB 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … .”
James 4:8 

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.


“Devoted to Prayer: In Quiet Places”


“… that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge …”
Ephesians 3:17-19, NASB

Remember My love …

After reading Ephesians 3, the truth of God’s love embraced me like a gentle hug. Though numerous responsibilities relentlessly demanded attention, the blessed peace of kneeling in God’s holy presence comforted me.  Softly He whispered, and I grabbed hold of His words with purpose—writing them down so I would indeed remember.

Drink it …

Seemingly unusual, I pondered what it meant to “drink” God’s love. Kindly the Lord flooded my mind with understanding: just as liquid seeps into our bodies and satisfies our thirst, Christ alone can satisfy our spiritual thirst. He yearns for His love to infiltrate every aspect of our being … to meet our need for love before we search for satisfaction elsewhere. He longs to be our first Love. Drink.

Breathe it …

And what did He mean by this? As daily breaths infuse our lungs with air, God wants His love to fill us … motivate us … move us. To give us life! Ardently He desires us to be rooted and grounded in His love, that we might be stable and secure. Whatever storms come our way, His love will steady us. Breathe.

Speak it …

Finally God calls us to speak of His overwhelming love. Immeasurable and divine, brought to life in the Person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, love defines God. God IS love. Overarching all of His other characteristics, the enormity and reality of His love–for the sinner, the saint, the broken, and the restored—God’s love shows no partiality. It’s available for all. But some reject it. Speak.

Christ’s love exists experientially, not just as truth to know intellectually. Swiftly life rushes by, yet the Lord persistently beckons us to slow down and listen to His tender, penetrating whisper:

Remember My love. Drink it. Breathe it. Speak it.

Lord, You are the One who whispers love into my heart. Thank You for communicating so tenderly. Please lead me to quiet places where I can be still in Your presence, listening intently for Your voice. Enable me to hear and respond to Your affirmations of love along with Your Spirit’s guidance. In Your cherished name I pray, Amen.


Image courtesy of klygror


Devoted to Prayer: “In Desperate Places”

“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”
Colossians 4:2, NASB 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … .”
James 4:8 

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.

“Devoted to Prayer: In Desperate Places”


“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.” Hebrews 5:7, NASB

medium_8050708619-300x198“Please, Mommy—please!” Anyone with children has heard that before, and the response often requires tremendous wisdom. Sometimes I hold the line, and other times I’m a softie mom. I find it especially hard to resist tears, which still occasionally well up in my daughter’s eyes. Either I relent or firmly maintain what’s already been determined. When I do say no, it’s usually because I believe that answer will benefit my child more in the long run.

Jesus earnestly prayed daily throughout His earthly life. Sometimes His prayers were more urgent, thus offered with wrenching cries and tears. Because of His piety (godly fear), His Father heeded His petitions. Jesus knew who held the power to grant His desires, so He withheld nothing in His honest, heartfelt requests. He always asked.

God hears our requests too. He sees the tears. He listens to our anguish. But that doesn’t mean He always gives what we want. Why?

God says no because His plans are better than our desires.

Agonizingly Jesus pleaded with His Father before He went to the cross: “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42). As He prayed, He didn’t sweat normal tears—His consisted of blood. Yet His Father still said no … so hard to imagine. The perfect Man, the sinless Son labored in prayer to the “One able to save Him from death.” And He said no. Why?

Because our Father’s plan superseded saving His Son—it involved saving us. 

God’s plan existed before time began. Lovingly He determined to buy us back through His beloved Son’s blood. Generously He gave His only Son. Selfishly sinners rejected and killed Christ. But God won! Today Jesus sits at God’s right hand—offering up prayers and supplications—for us (see Rom. 8:34).

Maybe you’ve been crying to the Lord for something or someone in particular. Like Jesus, keep asking. Like Jesus, stay surrendered to God’s will. Then like Jesus, God’s perfect plan will be enacted through your life.

If God says no, we can rest in knowing His plan surpasses that desire.

Gracious Father, please empower me to always ask … and always accept Your answer. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Drawing Near,


Image courtesy of Mick Amato