If there’s one thing I have been called in life…it is fearful.
With my children having the middle names of Faith and Hope, I must have known at age 23 how I might need a constant reminder of those words.
My husband says my mother and paternal grandmother made me fearful.
They would call it “being cautious.”
During the last few years fear almost took me out. By that, I mean…anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, oh – and a mini-stroke six months ago. Something called a TIA.
I had someone coming against me from several angles who lied, falsely accused, conspired, hurt my children, and overall wanted to heap misery upon us. I have never understood why unless Satan was before God asking to sift me like wheat.
People of planet earth….God, in His mighty, merciful and infinite wisdom, held me so tightly (probably in his fist, actually), that I think my broken leg last year was to keep me grounded, quiet and put my attention solely on Him.
God broke me all to pieces to strip away the hate and malice and distraction of this evil person because the FEAR she brought into my life for two years was poisoning me. Her venom was like an infection, and I caught it.
Recently, I honestly (with my real heart) extended forgiveness to two other people connected to her. They played a part in the most scandalous of family court trials, so much that the courthouse involved recused themselves, circled the wagons, and will probably never utter our names again.
This post isn’t to air dirty laundry.
I have spared you years of details, but I want to make sure you understand WHY I was afraid to the point my blood pressure nearly took my life.
My cardiologist used some colorful, non-Christian language when he told me to “forget them,” because it was killing me.
I am expectantly awaiting what more God will show me, even in my own faults and sin, of how I handled or responded to this enemy. It isn’t over yet. There will be another round with different people, but I know God had to prune, refine and restore me to handle this long journey.
I was like the servant with Elisha, below, in 2 Kings:
15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city.
“Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
(see 2 Kings 6:8-23)
If only….if only I could have opened my eyes to see this woman and the legal system behind her had no power at all…at least not the kind of power that should paralyze me with fear.
They very well could put me in jail, fine me until I’m penniless and living in a box, or try and slander my name. But, if this happens to be God’s will for me, for protecting my children, when no one else would, then like Paul and Silas I will echo my praise from wherever I may be.
This will be unfortunate because I really cannot sing.
Without this journey through Fear Forest, I wouldn’t be flooded with revelations from God’s Word, new and fresh… had I not been backed into a corner (also handcuffed and chained in that corner, but I’m not bitter), I wouldn’t know what spiritual weapons to use in that forest.
I will end this part of my story here for today, and let the message below breathe strength and bravery into us all…🛡⚔️
Copyright © 2018 Keysha Thomaston®. All Rights Reserved.
Below is a devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
See, Lysa Terkeurst must have gotten word from the Lord, yet again, that I needed this message. 😊❤️
It’s today’s devotion and Bible ready from the First 5 app. I really hope they don’t mind me sharing it with you (all credit to Lysa!) ⬇️⬇️
Why You Don’t Have to Live in Fear
Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 6
2 Kings 6:16 (NIV)“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. ‘”
Do you ever look around at all that is happening in our world today, or even within the realm of your own personal life, and feel fear grip your heart?
I think it’s a feeling we have all faced at some point in our lives. We crave safety and certainty and simplicity as we raise our families, serve God and live out our Christian beliefs in both private and public. But so many things feel threatening to those desires.
How do we navigate both our fears and our faith?
The passage of Scripture we are studying today is one I turn to time and again when I get afraid. Particularly 2 Kings 6:16, “‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. ‘”
The prophet Elisha spoke this treasured truth to his servant who was breathless with fear when he saw a massive enemy army surrounding them. His desperation is clearly heard in 2 Kings 16:15b: “‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do? ‘ the servant asked.”
Their circumstances were horrible and hopeless when examined through human eyes.
But Elisha doesn’t look at circumstances with human eyes. He sees there are always two realities to everything we face: A physical reality but also a spiritual reality. Elisha clearly saw the frightening military leaders surrounding his city, who thought they were in control. But he also saw an angel army sent by God who was far stronger, far greater and far more in control than any human eye could see.
I love what Elisha prays for his servant.
Elisha prays his spiritual eyes will be opened so his faith will be increased. He doesn’t pray for his servant’s fear to be eased. He doesn’t pray the enemy army turns and runs away. He doesn’t pray a new king will swoop onto the scene and change the antagonistic political climate of that day. He doesn’t pray his circumstances will change at all. He simply prays his servant can see with spiritual eyes that God is in control. (2 Kings 6:16-17)
And what his servant sees is an angel army sent by God with a divine assignment.
Fear was silenced as the servant saw the protection and provision of God.
That’s how we can quiet our fears as well. God’s Word enables us to see the divine protection and provision that is available to us in our times of distress and need. Verses like Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” And then Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the LORDencamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”
These verses were true for Elisha’s fearful servant and they are true for us too.
And let’s not miss out on how God then delivered the people of Israel from the enemy army surrounding them. After Elisha prayed for his servant to receive sight, he prayed for the Syrians to lose their sight. His prayer that the enemy would be struck with “blindness” utilizes a rare Hebrew word that describes sudden blindness — sanwērîm. The only other place it is used is in Genesis 19:10-11 when angels strike the men of Sodom with blindness, that left them confused and the Syrian army easily led into captivity.
What a powerful contrast — God opening the eyes of Elisha’s servant so he could see spiritual truth and be filled with confidence versus Him blinding the enemy so they would be left confused and trembling as they feared for their lives.
Oh, how I pray we will remember this story. We are not meant to be the fearful ones. God wants us to see. He wants our eyes opened and our hearts filled with confidence. Our enemy Satan? He is the one whoshould be trembling with fear.
May we remember no matter what the nightly news says about current circumstances, God’s good news is our ultimate reality. The enemy is vicious, but he is not victorious. Therefore, we can sometimes feel afraid, but we don’t have to live afraid. Like that beautiful praise song by Chris Tomlin gloriously expresses, “I know who goes before me — I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.”
Prayer: Lord, I don’t want to be blind to the hope and provision I have in You. Let Your Holy Spirit open my eyes to see wondrous things in Your Word. Truths that will flood my heart with confidence — overriding every single fear. Thank You for Your careful concern for every part of me — physical, emotional and spiritual. In all ways, You are with me. I will not feel alone or powerless. I will feel guarded like the treasured daughter I am. I know You are making all things right and good. I know Your love will reign supreme. In Jesus’ name,amen.