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When Fear Distorts Our Past

“Of all the passions, fear weakens judgment most.”

Cardinal de Retz

While in college, I lamented over the stress of my classes and couldn’t wait to graduate. But once I landed a full time teaching position and juggled that with my desire to be a good wife, I missed the life of a carefree college student. I was no different than the Israelites in Exodus 14:12 when they fled from their slavery in Egypt and Pharaoh and his troops pursued them in front of the Red Sea. They complained to Moses, “Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Their fear caused them to believe their bondage to what they knew, was better than God’s deliverance and freedom.

The intersection of fear and insecurity makes the past more attractive than the present. When circumstances go south and fear grips our hearts, we think the good old days, where we’ve been, are better than where we are or where we’re going. Fear makes us forget how hard the past was. It transforms our former struggles into, it really wasn’t so bad after all.  Our anxiety tempts us to run away from the present as it distorts our past, making it look better than it actually was.

Change, or the unknown can be scary. As I look ahead to an uncertain future, fear and insecurity can distort my perspective, but God’s voice speaks the truth and comforts me with His words. Listen intently these next weeks, for I will guide and direct you in the way to go. Let My voice pave the path where you’re to walk. Let My gentle squeeze of your hand ensure My presence. Let Me be your comfort, the One that carries you during times of difficulty. And remember, it’s My goodness that sees you through the trials in life. That is what takes you to the end of the dark tunnel, where My light shines once again.

I don’t want to be like the Israelites, trusting in my comfort zone, even though the reality is I’m in bondage. Instead, I want to believe and trust God’s voice and His Word. Then faith and courage will begin to well up inside of me.

“The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us.”

Oswald Chambers

Relevant Reflections:

  1. Describe a time when a present day fear distorted your past and made it look better than it was.

  2. In what area of your life do you need a dose of faith in God and His Word to cause your courage to rise?

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