- Melinda K. Bowens
Keeping It Simple: Unknown
Hey y’all! I just feel so rude some days opening up the blog and not greeting you appropriately. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fun or heavy topic, I still need to speak (my southern is showing). But let’s get to it, shall we??
For today’s fun and unsolicited fact about me, I would like to share that I do not entertain bodies of water where I cannot see the bottom. Yes, that includes rivers, lakes, oceans, pools that have seen hard times, all of them! Now, I love water itself, so I will do a cruise or let the tide wash over my feet at the beach. However, wading in the depth for no good reason, hard pass! And it clearly has nothing to do with water, but the fear of the unknown. I don’t know what in the Jaws and Lake Placid is hiding beneath that nice looking current. But I do know that I will not be a victim if something is lurking below the surface of what I can see.
So, now that you know to never ask me to go swimming in the ocean, let’s proceed.
As I stated a bit earlier, my fear is not the water. My fear is what is in the water that I cannot see and possibly cannot handle. I like to think I can take care of myself, but I watched the Discovery Channel and some of those water creatures look like they too believe they can take care of me. But my fear of what is not visible in the water is very similar to our fears about what is not seen in life.
Sometimes, our greatest points of anxiety are not related to events that have occurred, but to the events of our imaginations. We spend time (maybe a little, maybe a lot) plotting out possible solutions to 87,451 different problems. In reality, PERHAPS a handful of those scenarios will ever come to pass. And we already know that fact is true, but we still let future concerns rob us of present peace. Why is that?! Well, for whatever reason, fear is often times a stronger force than anything in our minds.
Fear of the unknown has caused us to make hasty decisions or no decision at all. That same fear has pushed us to say things, go places, and contemplate choices we never thought would cross our paths. Fear is not a small deal and I won’t pretend that it’s not real. Uncertainty does not feel good, it just doesn’t.
I believe the Bible was intentional and not just a collection of random words. That means I also believe there was a reason some variation of “fear not” was written 365 (or more) times across 66 books of the Bible. Clearly someone was afraid and a lot! And we are no different. We are afraid…a lot.
I know this is where you might be expecting me to say something like, “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” Or “we have 365 verses to combat fear, use one every day.” While both of these statements are true, this is not that kind of party and we need something a little more sustainable than part of a verse and an Instagram quote. I actually want us to do something way different. I want us to fully embrace what we are afraid of and why.
I don’t want us to pretend the fear isn’t there because we think it’s makes us seem like “bad” Believers (or potential Believers). Aht, aht! Because as long as we pretend fear isn’t there, it’s somewhere staring at us from a dark corner. How-and-thee-ever, when we own what we are specifically afraid of, we shine a very bright light in that corner. And we know, the only resolution to darkness is light.
God will forever be “I am” in the unknown circumstances. But we need to be honest about who we need Him to be in those same situations. If we’re fearful about not knowing His will, relationships, career changes, or life moves, we need to own it…then open our mouths to tell Him. God won’t leave us hanging, He’s pretty consistent with that.
Let’s do the work!
Fill in this statement below as many times and as detailed as you need.
1. God, I am afraid of ___________________. Please help me __________________. Thank you.
Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 GNT
God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 CEV