Redemption by preemption

Confession: I don’t call myself a fearful person, but I’m always surprised to find that the deeper I go, the more anxieties I unearth. Then I have to figure out what to do with them. I would enjoy covering them back up, but they don’t hide well.

Did you know that you can undercut a fear by preempting it?

I’m not talking about a phobia: the paralyzing terror that does not listen to reason—but about a fear: the learned dread of a dangerous situation.

I’ve found it a severe mercy of Jesus to require that my path to wholeness lies not over, not around, but through. And sometimes He nudges me to kick-start the process instead of waiting till I’m forced into it. You can undercut a fear by offering yourself to it.

In [amazon_link id=”1613822553″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Robinson Crusoe[/amazon_link] (which, incidentally, is full of gems), I found this prize:

“How frequently, in the course of our lives, the evil which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into, is the most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into.”  –Daniel Defoe

Do you fear what will happen if you are found out?

Tell your secret.

Do you fear the success of others?

Pray for it.

Do you fear losing what can be taken away?

Offer it freely.

Do you fear what will happen if you really bomb?

Try it.

Now, lest you think I live in strength, marching from one courageous conquering to the next… I don’t. I tried exactly one of these lately and it set me free. But I’m not going to tell you which.

(Only three hundred and fifty-nine left to go!)

You’ll be surprised at how cleansed you feel on the other side.

How do you overcome fear?


Recommended read: [amazon_link id=”B0035XFTGY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day[/amazon_link], by Mark Batterson. This pastor teaches that playing it safe is risky, that looking foolish is important, and that fears are made to be unlearned.

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11 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement.

11 years ago

You’re so dead on it’s not even funny. Thanks for articulating something I’ve struggled to understand. It makes perfect sense in my mind…like stray puzzle pieces suddenly clicking into place. By the way…I organized my spices in a drawer yesterday. I proudly gazed down at it and reveled in the neatness. 🙂

11 years ago

I’ve been reading your blog, but don’t think I’ve commented. I really enjoy reading your posts. 🙂 You might never know how many people rearranged their spices because of you. I had to laugh to myself when I read the above comment, because I have a big, shallow drawer beside my stove that currently was fairly empty, and since I am always looking frantically for spices when I am cooking or baking, I decided to try putting them in that drawer. I did that yesterday!

Arlene Zook
11 years ago

I always feared a bad thing happening to my family. That bad thing happened. It was so painful! Even worse then I ever imagined (fears feed on imagination…or at least mine do). But one thing I never thought to imagine was God’s grace in the situation. God’s grace is beyond my imagination. Looking back I see His presence, grace, and comfort so clearly and I am still experiencing it. I completely identify with the quote from Robinson Crusoe. I miss my mom terribly but I am so thankful for what God had done for me in the past two years and the things I have learned. Thank you for this. It gives me courage to keep on trusting God and facing my fears.

11 years ago

Now…Now, I have lots to think about.

This spoke straight to my soul.

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