But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Let’s talk about mountain lions. I grew up in a town where it was common to see them on trails so, from the time I was young, I was taught what to do if you see one.
You don’t run (it will chase you). You don’t ignore it or turn your back (it will continue to stalk you). You don’t hide or lay down (it will attack you). No, you turn and look it in the eyes. If you have a jacket you put it over your head to make yourself appear larger. You speak firmly to it and maybe even get on someone‘s shoulders.
You face it until it leaves.
Sometimes I feel like Fear is a mountain lion. It’s been stalking me on the trail for quite some time, and I’ve hoped that by ignoring its presence it might go away. But I can feel it there, always a few steps behind me. It’s golden eyes and soft steps make my stomach tight and my heart quicken.
Recently I heard God say, “it’s time”—time to turn and look it in the eye. To face the Fear that has been haunting me. To stare it down, to raise my arms high up towards heaven for strength I don’t possess on my own, until IT flees.
Yet it’s so much harder than I could ever have imagined to face and conquer Fear. I’m not sure when I gave it so much room in my heart, but some days it knocks me out from the moment I open my eyes. I imagine it was little choices to run or cower in its presence. “I’m afraid so I won’t drive today.” “I’m afraid so I’ll order groceries online instead.” “I’m afraid so I’ll walk off stage to feel safe.”
And suddenly I’m living in a tight little world because barely anywhere feels “safe”.
Yes, God whispers to us all “it’s time!” Maybe your mountain lion is Fear. Or maybe yours is Sin or Anger or Unforgiveness you’ve let stalk you for too long. Yet the challenge to you and I is the same: can you turn, can you reach your arms towards heaven, and can you face that thing—look it right in the eyes—until it stops holding power over you—until it flees?
It’s difficult and scary. Some days it feels impossible. But we have the Holy Spirit and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead available to us—living in us. We can do hard, even impossible, things. The only way to deal with a mountain lion is to face it.
Written by Hilary Flook-Jurekovic, SOW Administrator and Dean of Women
1/30/2020 11:18:48 am
7/17/2020 03:09:53 pm
AM WHAT I AM BY THE GRACE OF GOD...I was confirmed in a Methodist church in Duluth, Mn. in 1964. Later as 3rd chair snare, in my 9th grade year, a senior girl in the HS Band taught us younger band dweebs how to inject Vodka into Oranges for our Marching Band trip to Bayfield,Wisconsin and began decades of severe self-medicating myself against severe stage fright and doubt, until God, July 7th, 1991 rescued me out of Hell. Prideful arrogant man that I am, never applying to be instructed in my Guitar before or really after being saved, I am self-taught by ear and I am certain and loath to admit, hobbled in bad habits. Over a decade ago, I clearly heard God say, play for me. It can only be God, that I am able to do what I've been doing, but after reading these blogs and viewing the curriculum today, I know I'm not giving Him the "ALL" that He deserves from me, not letting the fear of being exposed as a musical fraud restrict my Worship of Him and will pray for a way to enroll, God willing. Thank you Hilary.
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