Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Fear’s Antidote: Home Now, And Home Forever
Posted on September 7, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by Life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, Who has given us The Spirit as a guarantee.
~ from 2 Corinthians 5
Oh beloved, it is true.
One of the most foolish things we do, is to live in fear.
In a chat with a dear brother and colleague, Dr. Michael Clark, I wrote: “Having lived all over the world, I always seem to return to Arizona (where I grew up). I guess it is a beginning of an understanding that Home is something much more real and eternal than this world.” In response, this brother nudged me in the way that good friends can do, if we will let them. He said: “Home is also where we are at the moment, making the best of who we are and how we hope and build for next generation!”
It was a very good evening when I got that text… And for me, as one of the us formerly lost boys from the Colony of Mercy, something very empowering came from that conversation. So much so, that I am still trying to comprehend it.
But for now, back to fear.
Fear is where we are looking. For, when we look at our situations, or emotions, or finances, or relationships, we quickly see where our control over our life ends. And, (even though it is not true) feeling not in control is something that us addicts feel that we have to fix.
Fear is not just where we are losing control over everything. Fear is the place where we see how our weaknesses and failures have intersected to pull us even further away from the people, circumstance and things we hoped to have in our lives.
Left to run in our sometimes-insane heads and hearts, fear kidnaps our lives, until they become a mere existence. Then, in the monotony of only just existing, the pain of the loneliness and flatness of our situation sets us up to go right back to where we were: stuck in whatever life-dominating sin was making us fearful in the 1st place.
There is an Antidote though.
Can we see it?
This is why I had such a breakthrough after my chat with Mike: The last 8 years have been the most tumultuous of my 54 years in this world. And to say this is saying a lot. I got married. I moved to three different countries. I gained two children, three sons-in-law, and two grandkids. I learned two languages. I got thrown out of two different countries based on the work I was doing in ministry. I moved back to the US and changed careers (again). Beyond this, there were some seasons of difficult parenting and challenges in my marriage.
I got through the last eight years, because I had learned to take on an eternal perspective on things. This was reinforced through a few situations overseas, where I was under the very real threat of immediate death. The clarity that came from those moments gave me great strength. It was so comforting and strengthening – to KNOW that Jesus would never leave me, nor forsake me. I had learned that FEAR NOT! was not just a mantra from Deuteronomy, but a place we can live someday and look forward in wonder-filled love of His coming appearance.
But, I confess – like Chuck Swindoll – that one of the biggest problems about life is that it is just SO daily. And beyond the wild tales of a escaping a knife attack in the Philippines, or an armed radical on a trash mountain in Indonesia, or the incredible privilege of preaching to rooms full of people from 30 countries, or teaching some of the most motivated students in the world, there were so many things that just were kind of grinding me down. I was getting impatient. Come L_RD Jesus!
I had missed it.
Yes, Home is awaiting us forever with the Source and Fulfiller of our great desire. And this reality is medicine to the soul. Knowing our destiny knocks the “out of control” feeling into context. Eternity will great us with a kiss where all that stuff is gone, and only good remains. We only have to wait for it.
But, Home is also now. The eternal sunshine of our future is already shining back on our lives, right now. Hope is already welling up within us, because the One Who gave us hope, dwells within us. Now is where the kingdom is already growing, as we grow in Love for G_d and each other.
Why are we ever afraid? Beloved, really. Why – when we know the outcome of our lives, and if we know that the outcome is already reaching back from eternity and meeting us in the present moment; when we really are home anywhere, and any time – wouldn’t fear be… just plain silly?
Tonight is your night. There is no need for control. There is no need for fear. You (and this fool of a writer) are already where we long to be: Home. Oh yes, there is much more to come. But now is pretty amazing too!
To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.
~Henri J. M. Nouwen
Think About This: “Jesus did not come from heaven to earth just to get us out of hell and into heaven — though He is the only One Who can do that. He also came to get Himself out of heaven and into us.” -Major Ian Thomas
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit -1 Peter 3:18
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.