Our Private Hell

It’s easy for me to serve the Lord knowing there is nothing I can do within this flesh that will make Him look at me any differently than I am.

But, for many years, I did not believe that.

The world has a way of promoting fear, and it is evident within the television programs, blogs, games that our children play and the news that we watch or read. We can observe it everywhere, and we are being encouraged to do so. It’s no wonder this fear-driven world that is placed within view brings about a fearful mentality. A fear that consumes the daily avenues of our personal journey through this life.

I can attest. Fear had a great hold on me for the majority of my life. The world in which I had lived was one of chaos. Madness. A blended life, between two people I had called mom and dad. They were always battling a war that I had later found to be because of their personal fears. I was stuck within the middle; learning fear, placing fear, subconsciously, at the forefront of my young existence, learning within those early years the necessity for the place for fear within my life. Learning firsthand from the immediate teachers within my young existence that fear is surely a necessary part of a balanced life.

It paved the way for me, this fear. It had me scared from the beginning.

I was working the other day and had a memory from my childhood. A very real, vivid memory from a time well over thirty-five years ago. It was almost as if I was right there, within the arms of my father, under a fireworks display. Every Independence Day, a huge fireworks show commences at the riverfront within the city I used to live in. I remember being so incredibly frightened as I fell into this memory. “I don’t wanna see the fireworks! I don’t wanna see the fireworks!” I literally remember saying this, over and over, as I was tucking my head into the chest of my dad. I don’t know anything outside of that recall, but I’m sure my parents and I stayed, even though I was scared to death. As I went about my day after the vivid flashback, I thought about the constant trauma within my early days. The fear within me was only passed off as a weak stomach by my parents that day in July. They did not have a sense for the trauma it was causing, much like the trauma they were blinded to as they fought, day in and day out, as I was growing. I carried that same fear within them, throughout my own life.

My word, the anxiety!

It is written throughout this entire blog, just how much of an impact those yesterdays have shaped me into the man I currently am.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (written throughout Psalms and Proverbs) was something that I was not willing to accept. Can you understand my position? But, there I was, at rock-bottom. Thirty-something, and falling apart at the seams. I had nowhere to go but to a building to talk to the Lord and listen to a man scream at me for being a terrible person. More fear, painted on thick with damning words, strict rules and obedience. I had to be something that I completely wasn’t and put on some nice clothes while doing it. Join a club, put on a fake smile and go to all of the scheduled functions while crammed into a little box, closed off from the realities of life. Away from all others within the world outside with aching hearts, just like mine. “Is this you, God? Is this your will for me? Is this the exchange: fear for fear, that you long for me to have, Lord? Is this the life of Jesus? Is this the way, truth and life that He spoke of, Father? Am I going to burn in HELL unless I instantly change the things that I truly am?” I would ask these questions to the invisible as I would go through the motions that everyone around me seemed to fake their way through. If this was the true essence of God, I wanted nothing from him. I was already tapped out. I was already willing to consider the thoughts of overdosing and checking out of this miserable mirage called, “life.”

I left those added anxieties. I left, and began to see things that I had never seen before in our Lord. Real things. True things, Understood, yet, mysteriously complicated things. I began to see a presence within the world and within myself. There was no fear within it. “It,” was God. It is God.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18

It is a disgraceful shame to see the fear-driven mind and world that I had once lived in, and that so many are experiencing. I pray this morning for all of us. I praise God, personally, for allowing me to be sanctified and cleansed of these experiences and conditions, each day in the way as He sees fit, as I experience the true essence of Him.

I only observe my fears now, and they do come, but that fear is just a part of me in this flesh. A big part of me. But, knowing what I didn’t know then, that fear is not the definition of my true self, but Christ in me is, has given me the rest that I could never find when I had lived within the fear. I serve the MIGHTY GOD who came in the flesh to teach the way to the world. I will always continue to seek His love, His perfect love, made manifest in Jesus, and with me in Holy Spirit. I will live my life without fear and thrive within this love He has shown me. I will continuously seek His loving counsel and guidance in order to bear His fruit within my tattered life, and throughout the tattered world.

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