Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hello Father, goodbye fear

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, 
but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 
"Abba, Father."
~ Rom 8:14-15

These verses have been mulling around in my brain for weeks.  What does God tell us we did NOT receive?  What DID we receive?  I think it is amazingly kind that God does not contrast fear, or "the spirit of bondage again to fear" with something like peace or courage.  As nice as those attributes are, He gives us something far better. He tells us we have received sonship!  He's adopted us...we get HIM.  Goodbye Fear, I am in my Father's arms.

All of creation is His handiwork. I love this quote by Abraham Kuyper: "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" Yep, every square inch belongs to Him.  No matter where we go in earth, sky or sea...we are in His backyard.  Why fear?...He always has His Fatherly eye on us.  Nothing is able to separate us from His love (Rom. 8:37-39). Not even the really hard stuff we sometimes face.

While sitting in my chair one morning, sipping tea and enjoying the quiet before the kiddos awoke, I began watching the shadows dance on the floor as the sunlight made its way through the window.  God was giving me the gift of a few minutes to rest and reflect on His Word.  Oh how I need those quiet minutes with my Father!  I was chewing on those verses out of Romans 8 when I noticed the shadows.  Have you ever seen a shadow without light? It dawned on me that I haven't. Psalm 23 came to mind.  The first half of verse 4 says: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..."  More shadows for me to ponder...this time the shadow of death.  That is not a very friendly sounding shadow.  How can someone walking through the valley of the shadow of death NOT fear?

The verse goes on: "For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."  It is that same idea...goodbye fear, I have my Father.  He's my good shepherd and He will take care of me.  The shadows on my floor are not scary at all, but being a rather symbolic person, I couldn't help but think of shadows figuratively.  The shadows we live in can be dark and frightening and full of unknowns.  Do they make us fearful? And do we find ourselves clinging to strange things like the picture above portrays so well because of fear? Or do we remember that shadows are a proof of the we remember that our Father is with us and is taking care of us, lovingly leading us even when we need to go through a valley of shadows, even the valley of the shadow of death?  

"...I have set before you life and death, 
blessing and cursing; 
therefore choose life, 
that both you and your descendants may live; 
that you may love the Lord your God,
 that you may obey His voice, 
and that you may cling to Him
for He is your life..." 
~ Deut 30:19-20

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