Fearful My Fears Will Frighten the Life Out of Me

By September 2, 2008 culture, faith No Comments

Is your life managed by a set of preservation rules? Do you hang back in life out of fear of the what-ifs and the maybes? How much time do you spend making life more comfortable or easy or safe?

I’ve been pondering these questions for myself. (I don’t necessarily like the answers.)

Lest you think I ascribe to asceticism, please know that my desire is to be a Christian Hedonist—one who pursues the pleasure and comfort found in God. Pastor and author John Piper, in his book Desiring God, summarizes the mandate as follows: “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” Piper asserts that God designed humans to seek pleasure—therefore, the trouble is that we settle for fleeting pleasures instead of seeking the eternal enjoyment found in God Himself. (See this brief explanation of Christian Hedonism for additional insight.)

Tying this back to my opening question, I am disappointed in my pursuits because they are mostly about me seeking fleeting comfort or flimsy security or avoiding physical or emotional discomfort.

Which is so sad, because perfect comfort and security—both physical and emotional—is available in Jesus Himself. As my heart is trained to feast on Jesus, the fleeting ways I try to soothe myself will be rendered void and the excessive worries about health and safety and comfort will fade. So that’s the path I’m on; a slow journey, but my eyes are set there nonetheless!

Last week, I posted how my excessive concern for safety could inhibit me from getting things done in life. The example I gave was my hesitancy in showering during a thunderstorm. Such common sense rules create a very small yard within which to roam. Fear has a way of tightening the boundaries on our lives. And I don’t like to feel so penned in by things that are not likely to happen anyhow.

That’s the sort of thing I want to avoid by seeking out God Himself. More than my fear of being struck by lightning while in the shower, I fear that my fears will so constrict my life that all my time is spent keeping my fence posts in place.

So tell me, my blog-friends, why is it difficult to trust God and to rest in His provision for the comfort and safety we all desire?

A topic this deep takes more than one jab; so I’m beginning a posting series. Send along your thoughts or topics to add to the discussion, and watch for some interviews with people who are stretching their fence posts through various circumstances and trials. Hope you’ll join in!

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