The Fear Bomb

FEAR-BOMB

I’ll always remember when the bomb dropped—the fear bomb.

It was our anniversary. My wife, Shari, and I had spent the last several years walking together through a wilderness of trials, and we had only recently experienced some relief. We both were optimistic that we were finally leaving the desert behind us, and heading into a good land of fruitfulness and rest.

That’s when I heard a faint whistling sound overhead that grew steadily louder. The enemy had just dropped a bunker-busting fear bomb right on top of us.

KABOOM

With the intrusion of yet another trial, we feared our fortunes weren’t changing after all. Instead, we were seeing disaster ahead. Fear was becoming a runaway train barreling toward a cliff with a 10,000 foot drop off. And we were the terrified passengers.

Suddenly, I was inhabited by fear, and I began speaking my fears out loud. That frightened Shari. So, we began to feed off one another’s panic, entering into a worry cycle that was like a fear generator with a momentum engine.

Shari sought comfort from a friend, while I headed to the religion section of Barnes & Noble bookstore to meet God. In the first book I pulled off the shelf, I read descriptions of the enemy’s strategies against us. I thought, “The enemy—of course!  He attacked with a fear bomb.”

So, my first insight into what was actually happening was my recognition of the enemy’s maneuvering. The adversary’s strategy was a shock-and-awe fear attack under the cover of darkness–the darkness of deceit.

With the enemy’s scheme exposed, it was time for me to seek the heart of a Friend. I asked God to be a Father to me, and to show me how to respond to this trial with a trusting heart. I began to understand that God was teaching me something through this trial, and that I had to give my full attention to learning His lesson.

I awoke the next morning still feeling shell-shocked, like I was sitting in the smoking crater left by yesterday’s explosion. But I began to meditate on the words of Jesus. “Do not be afraid. Do not be troubled. Do not worry. Take courage.”  I saw that all of those admonitions are based upon one promise: “I am with you.” It was time I learned to step into the reality of that one promise.

As I quieted my spirit, it seemed that God was showing me myself–the habits, the patterns, the spiraling cycles–the ways I had learned to react to trials out of fear rather than responding to them with a heart of trust. I saw that I was reacting to trouble by entering into my fears rather than leaning into God, and knowing peace in His Presence.

And I learned from experience that God is willing to teach us how to experience His peace in the midst of trials, if we are willing to cooperate with Him in the process.

Has the fear bomb ever been dropped on you? How did you respond?

6 thoughts on “The Fear Bomb

  1. Just read this post with my CJ. Her response? “That’s cool! I love you, Uncle Dave!”
    (She means both the artwork and the words.)
    I agree.
    Love that there’s not one, but two illustrations today.
    And the truth that we should lean into God rather than react to trials out of fear … that makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

    (Oh, and CJ also thinks you should draw comic books.)
    🙂

    • Gotta love CJ! Comic books? Hmmmm. Maybe she’s on to something. I was hoping to include three pictures in today’s post, but couldn’t meet my own deadline. 🙂 And, yes, when it comes to trials and trouble, responding in trust is better than reacting in fear. I have a lot of past experience with the latter, but I hope to have more future experience with the former.

  2. The comic books idea is great. Also this post. I’m surprised that your answer came from Barnes & Noble shelves, but that’s wonderful. So often I see that when there’s nothing more I can do, He comes through and reverses the situation or rescues me. I’m trying to remember that earlier in the process each time.

    • I appreciate your good feedback! I’ve made a mental note that I have two votes for comic books. And, oh yes, God meets with me in bookstores. And sometimes He brings a friend. This time it was Max Lucado who shared insights from the Scriptures about spiritual conflict. Another time it was Joni Eareckson Tada who shared wisdom from her own life experience. You’re right. God is our rescuer. In recent years, God’s rescue program has been to change me—in part—by not changing the circumstances I want Him to change. It’s not my favorite program, but I’m beginning to learn from experience that God knows what He’s doing even when I don’t 🙂 Thanks again for commenting!

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