Saturday, September 5, 2015

Of Shopping and "Preppers" and Fear

I read a blog this morning that made me cry.

It was a blog about a mom, preparing to take her children back to Africa, and trying to figure out how much to buy, trying to plan ahead for an unknown period of time.

It made me cry because I see myself in it.

No, I am NOT going to Africa (that I know of).

I cried because deep inside there I have a fear.  There is fear of an unknown future.  There is fear that I won't be able to feed or clothe my children.

I find that I constantly feel like I *should* be preparing for the inevitable loss of job, income, housing, transportation, for the imminent collapse of the economy, for some national disaster that will isolate or leave us without resources.

This could have been our pantry
- minus the sturdy shelves.
I grew up in a home that was very much into apocalyptic thinking LONG before it was "the thing" to do.  My parents have been "preppers" since the 60s.  I cannot remember a time when there was not talk of stockpiling food, of having alternate sources of energy, of being prepared to live off the land.

As far as I can see, this thought-process is based on FEAR.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of conspiracies.  Fear of deprivation and hunger and loss of liberty and beloved things and/or people.

Living in fear is an exhausting thing, and prompts all kinds of reactions and responses from people.

There are a HOST of mental health conditions linked to fear:  Hoarding, anxiety, OCD, and all of the -phobias, to name a few.

We attempt to regulate and manage and control and mitigate as much risk as possible to prevent things we fear.

And yet....

I am a Believer.  I truly DO believe that God loves me, and wants me to let Him take care of me.  And a constant refrain that He gives revolves around fear, or more specifically, NOT fearing.

All throughout Scripture, God's people are admonished, commanded, and encouraged to NOT live in fear.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
"Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”  Isaiah 35:4
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."  Matthew 10:28
"In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?" Psalm 56:4
 So we may boldly say:
“The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6
I am truly bothered by my own and other believers' responses to our circumstances.  I think my responses (and that of other believers) betray my lack of trust in God.   I think my responses show that deep down I don't believe that God loves me, that I don't think He will care for me.

So, though I am not PLANNING to go to Africa, I recognize that my fear drives me to act as if I live in a place where God can't or won't provide for me every need.
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
Just another thing to work on...

1 comment:

Ann Y Stokes said...

You are so right. Living in relationship with the Prince of Peace shouldn't include mountains of fear & distrust. Obviously, as humans, we are kind of given to fear, or else, He wouldn't have needed to address it so many times in scripture.

As we spiritually mature, grow in relationship with Jesus, hopefully we will move more to the Prince of Peace side of the continuum, and live less in the fear the enemy so loves to put on us. (And he does delight in pouring on the fear -- a very lethal enemy).