Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Expect Peace

"I love you Lord, and I lift my voice. To worship You. Oh, my soul. Rejoice. Take joy my King, in what You hear.
 Let it be a sweet, sweet song, in Your ear." 
 I Love You Lord- Laurie Klein 

The last couple of days I have noticed a lot of Facebook posts about the fear associated with sending a loved one out on shift. Fear of the unknown, fear of injury or death, fear of painful experiences, and fear of the consequences of all these things. Let me remind you...

When I was a little girl I always struggled with nightmares. My earliest memory is of a nightmare when I was still young enough to be in a crib. I remember the dream of rats in my bed, and I remember overwhelming fear and the inability to get away. Crying for my mother, I remember waiting expectantly for her to come into my room and comfort me. She always did, and always sang me I Love You Lord in the sweetest voice. Throughout my childhood, and even as a young woman, she sang this song to me. There was something about the softness and words that brought overwhelming comfort to me. I always felt the presence of the Lord and I knew I could count on the peace the song brought me. How sweet it was to have a loving mother stand in protection against my fears. 

Today, I sing my baby girl this song and I still tear up at the connection I feel with it. It is the only song she falls asleep to when it's bedtime, and it's still the only song I sing when I feel fear as an adult. 

I want to share one point to overcoming fear with you and it is in the story above. We must wait expectantly. Let me explain...

What is waiting expectantly? We have two options for waiting, to wait passively and to wait expectantly. Those that wait passively are cynical. They hope for something, but don't count on it. They doubt and minimize. If a person waits passively they look at the situation, hope for an outcome, but don't count on it actually happening. To wait expectantly is exactly the opposite. Those that wait expectantly do more than hope for something. They expect it. The know it will happen. They never doubt but instead believe. Which way of waiting sounds better to you? If I am overcome with fear, I would rather be expectant than passive.  I expect to get through this fear crap and on to better things!

Joyce Meyer writes of waiting expectantly with this example. "It’s just like when a woman is pregnant; it's said that she is expecting a baby. She carries inside her the promise of a baby, and even though she can’t see it, she knows it's there. The moment she learns of her pregnancy, she begins to plan for her baby's arrival. She starts collecting items she'll need and busily gets the nursery ready. She actively prepares for the arrival of the baby because she knows the promise will be fulfilled—it's just a matter of time. She is expectant and she'll wait as long as it takes." What to Do When You're Waiting on God by Joyce Meyer Ministries

Waiting expectantly sounds all good, but what exactly are we waiting for? Remember in my story when I said I waited expectantly for my mother to comfort me? This would be an example of combating fear by waiting expectantly. We should wait expectantly on the Lord. By waiting expectantly on Him we are believing He will comfort us, we know it will happen, and we expect to receive the comfort. This applies also to waiting expectantly on Him for strength, peace, protection etc. 

So using Joyce Meyer's analogy of the pregnant mother, in my time of fear I will wait expectantly for the Lord's peace. I will expect to receive peace in my time of fear, and when I am not fearful, I will prepare, as a pregnant mother prepares for her baby, a heart that is receptive and a spirit that is not timid. (See 2 Timothy 1:7) I will wait expectantly for peace and comfort as a child waits for their mother. I will believe with confidence that this comfort I am waiting for will come. I will expect to receive this comfort and I will expect to concur my fear. 

Many of you have fear that your spouse (child, sibling, friend) will not come home from shift. If someone asked me my biggest fear in my would be that my husband is killed. I fear that I will lose my best friend, and my daughter will lose her daddy. 

When my husband first decided to be a Law Enforcement Officer I was overwhelmed with fear. I became defensive when people talked of the job's dangers. I would get angry at the "bad guys" for being bad in the first place and risking my husbands life. I hated when I heard people talk nonchalantly about how they speed or drive drunk. I wanted to yell at them, "Don't you know when you do stupid things my husband has to do his job and it might kill him? You might take him from me!" I was going nuts inside and it was all from fear. 

Pain would result if I lost my husband and fear was my anticipation of the pain. 

I was not waiting expectantly on the Lord's protection and peace. I was passive. I doubted my husband's safety. I hoped but did not believe in his protection. And ultimately, I was doubting the Lord. 

Now that my husband works alone most nights, out in the wild woods, interacting with random people with no backup (because of our remote/rural situation this is honestly the case at times, believe it or not.), all my fears are in my face every time he walks out the door. My fear is my anticipation of the pain of losing him. How do I rid myself of the fear? By believing, knowing, and expecting my husband to walk back through our front door each night. I believe, know, and expect he will be safe. I believe, know and expect I WILL BE ALRIGHT if something happens. I prepare my heart daily by meditating on good things and on the promises of the Lord. 

 "God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

Instead of focusing on the unknown, I focus on what I do know. I know my husband is well trained. I know he is smart. I know his has common sense, and I know he is dedicated to making it back to this family. If...and it's a BIG if...he doesn't come home, I know I will be alright. I know I will be strong, and I know I will receive peace and comfort. Some nights I even say these things out loud...and I sing my song. :)

When I feel fear, I wait expectantly (believing, knowing, and expecting) for peace and comfort. I expect to receive it. 

I hope and pray this post encourages you today as you face your fears. I hope you remember in your time of fear that you have the comfort of waiting expectantly for peace. I pray you expect to receive it.

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