Fear’s been knocking at the door a lot. Events over which I have no control have hounded me relentlessly this past year, leaving me to feel as if I am bobbing helplessly along in a swift river toward a massive waterfall – something like Bogey and Kate in African Queen. Except I have the drama without the glamour. Each day I have grimly pushed through the day’s challenges as I have tried to ignore the persistent pounding on my spirit’s door by fear.
Some days I totally give in to it, which was what happened this week. I discovered I had a nasty infection, followed by bad reactions to each of the two different antibiotics prescribed by my doctor. The one last night was particularly frightening. I debated about going to ER but settled instead on going to bed to wait out the night. My family prayed for me, released me from my share of the caregiving duties, and watched protectively as I snuggled under the comfort of my new throw (a Pier One Valentine’s gift from my dear husband) and tried to shut my eyes against the raging storm in my body.
But the greater storm was the one in my spirit. The physical pounding in my heart echoed the fear that emanated from behind the door of the unknown as it rattled the doorknob and threatened to jump out at me at any moment.
Just then, my husband came up bearing a small container of pure, extra-virgin olive oil from the kitchen. He slipped to my side and offered to anoint me as he prayed for me. I gladly accepted. He poured a bit out and touched it to my forehead as he prayed a simple but heartfelt prayer for healing. It was nothing grandiose or commanding – just a request to his God on behalf of his beloved.
The physical storm did not immediately stop, but the spiritual one subsided as that incomprehensible peace only the Spirit can give washed over me. My husband’s intercession was the reminder I needed that God is always in control. It was his faith going to the door for me and opening it to find nothing on the other side.
This morning I am much better. As I recuperate and rest on this Sunday morning, I think of the other doors and storms in my life and am reminded that our struggle is truly not a physical one, but one against the “flaming missiles of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). In this age of sophistication and cynicism, I must never forget I do not war with what I see, but with the “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). For those wars in our lives, we must put on the whole armor of God and walk in complete fearlessness, never forgetting we serve a big God who is alive, well, and fully in charge.
God is real; fear is the shadow.
Today may God strengthen and encourage you for whatever doors you face. As you surround yourself with His armor, my prayer is He will grant us all the courage to open those doors we face and dispel our fears. Who knows what opportunities for God’s service and glory lie behind them?
Not to fear is the armor. –Ulrich Zwingli
For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV