Have you ever been in a haunted house before, or maybe one of those haunted trails?
Every October, without fail, signs go up all over my small town. Even billboards advertise these experiences where we can get the crap scared out of us.
I really don’t see the appeal. Maybe I’m strange.
I don’t enjoy scary movies either. In fact, I just hate the feeling of being afraid altogether. I guess I don’t see the point in running toward something that will get your heart racing and maybe even your panties wet.
Some of us don’t need haunted houses or scary movies to get a good fear buzz. We live in fear each and every day.
I’m talking about those of us that suffer, year-round, in Anxietyville.
Literally, the scariest “Ville” you’ll ever put yourself through. In fact, it’s so scary, we may as well advertise and charge for people to come and experience it. I could’ve been making a fortune.
I’m no gardener. In fact, I have a bit of a pukish-green thumb. Not a black thumb. I don’t kill everything I touch. Just maybe half of it.
When I planted a seed of fear and anxiety in my heart nearly three years ago, I became a master at babying that little seed.
I’d water it daily. Gave it all the sun and fresh air it desired. I sang to it, talked to it, and told it to grow, grow, grow.
And then, when it grew so large, and so healthy, that it began to spill over the little pot I planted it in, I realize that maybe I cared for it a little too well.
When it took over my entire garden, it killed all of the good, delicious foods and herbs I needed to nourish my body. It began killing the other plants.
Before I knew it, the plant of fear and anxiety had completely and utterly decimated any signs of life in my garden and it had no plans to slow down.
It no longer required my attention anymore. It no longer needed daily watering, tending, or care. It was out of control and I didn’t know how to keep it from growing even more.
When the anxiety and fear in my mind grew out into my body, I would scream and yell and beg God to save me.
I would get angry at Him, wondering why He wasn’t killing this plant for me.
After some time, I was convinced that He didn’t care about my trouble. I was convinced that the plant of anxiety and fear was forever to be in my garden, growing more and more rogue everyday.
There would be times when I’d figure out ways to make it smaller. I’d spend time pruning or ripping vines from the tangled, mangled mess. I was brave. I was determined. I felt strong in these times. And God was giving me the strength and wisdom to know how best to rid my garden of this mess.
Sometimes, I’d feel too weak to care. I’d give in and watch all of my pruning and ripping out go to waste as the vines of my plant grew back twice a long.
I realized that God doesn’t hang out in my garden of fear and anxiety. And when I’m desperately doing the backbreaking work it takes to keep it from going out of control, God is on the other side of the property, in the stillness of a stream, in the falling of leaves, and the soft hum of a bee.
Friends, the reason you don’t hear or see God in your fear and anxiety is because He’s not in fear and anxiety.
Fear is loud. Fear is obnoxious and chaotic and toxic. Fear is a life-stealer and a hope-taker. It’s a faith-killer and a death-dealer. God isn’t in that. God isn’t there.
You see, if we want to hear God, we have to quiet our hearts. “Like a weaned child...” we have to calm our souls. We have to seek peace and search for joy.
“In Him is perfect Peace.”
I often would wait for my rescuing.
I would sit in my garden full of tangled weeds and wait for Him to come and untangle the mess.
I would scream.
I would wail.
All the while becoming more and more bitter as the vines would grow around me, suffocating the death out of me. Notice I said death and not life.
There is no living in fear. Just dying.
Throw down your watering can. Stop taking daily walks out to your garden and go sit by the stream of still waters.
Let Him pour His Living Water into your soul. The living water that kills anxiety, fear, and panic and replaces those things with hope, faith, and joy.
The more time you spend on the Living Water side, the more you’ll forget that your tangled garden even existed.
So please, stop looking for God in your fear. Because you won’t find Him.
"Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.“ -Deuteronomy 30:15
Choose Life. Choose Joy. Choose Peace. Choose Jesus.