The soul experiences the effect of ungodly fear while in the hold of its earthly vessel. The hull of its ship, crafted from mere flesh and bone, is rickety and could buckle against the strain of life’s most turbulent waters; none of us are built so sturdy that we could indefinitely withstand the savage forces of nature.
My soul trembles when, in the face of a storm, my whole being feels in peril. But I ultimately rest in my heart on Christ, my preserver, to whom my soul shall cling as this body one day capsizes and descends to lay beneath the murky depths. Still, though, my soul could be shaken unto my death. Only God truly knows the severity and understands the challenge of this affliction that is within me.
My struggle is with a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which, in my case, results in a series of physical reactions to circumstances that are triggered by emotional scars from traumatic experiences. Preparation is key, forbid my adrenaline spike and cause my heart to race, so that I can function in settings where I must socially engage or be cast in a critical spotlight. (Those of you who have read my book, The Hope in Personal Apocalypse, should not be surprised to learn of my ongoing battle to cope with this unsettling nervous condition.) I prayerfully entrust my state of readiness for the inevitable
In my book, the fourth chapter, Stronghold of Wisdom, includes the account of once when I walked through such a “valley.” I would be dishonest to claim that, in those climactic moments, I felt altogether fearless; faced by lions that are about to consume me, I surely would struggle to not be overwhelmed by the sheer thought of being devoured. But I had grown strong enough in my faith that, by then, I could not so easily be possessed by a fearful spirit; God had equipped me with the wisdom to overcome all terror that evil would use to break any of us. First, though, I had come to fear the Lord more than death itself.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, …” – See Proverbs 9:10 (NASB)
Death is for the flesh to fear until its final breath. Destruction is for the soul to fear but, once it humbly accepts God’s love and gift of Salvation as the means to eternal life and then desires above all to please Him, it may shed its anxiety to stand in reverence and awe of His redeeming wisdom.
“The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.” – See Proverbs 15:33 (NASB)
I am nevertheless mindful that, although God is with me, the lions of this world could still tear away my flesh and gnaw on my bones. But my spirit hastens toward and holds fast to the One from whom mine enemies flee. Albeit I physically faint at the thought of perishing in life’s darkest valley, I am spiritually revived by my heart for the unshakable Kingdom of hope . . . from where I receive all strength and for where I am bound.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” – See 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)
“… since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. ” – See 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)
“… And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – See Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.“ – See John 14:27 (NASB)
Indeed, God’s peace is the right medicine for the ills that would plague the soul. With His righteous hand, God administers perfect love and wisdom so that, in our hearts, we who are with Christ are well to feel happy and blest. For God is the great physician who does not abandon those who faithfully rely on Him to save His people from overexposure to fear. What He does to treat me for such contamination, He would tend to your need once you call upon His name. Trust that you are not alone when you go through these valleys.
My purpose for this blog, my first book, and all else are purely for the means to further share the hope of my life that, in faith, has sustained me. My utmost desire is to do the good works that God would have us all do to lift one another up.