Facing Fear Like A 50 Year Old

It’s my birthday week! Come Friday, I will have lived in this earth for 50 years, God willing and the creek don’t rise. So many thoughts are running through my mind, and perhaps more than anything is the simple fact that God is a keeper! When I recall how my mom cared for me and my brother after my father passed away, returning to work, being a single parent, rearing children in the inner city and the both of us remained healthy, strong and most of all, are active believers in Christ, I am truly grateful. I’ve spent some time looking at old photographs and reflecting upon the places I’ve been afforded to go and the many people I’ve met along the way. As a child, there were very few things that I was afraid of. To be sure, I insisted that the light remain on with the bathroom door ajar in our apartment at night. I was fearful during the fall, when mice would come inside and harbor in the walls and one could hear them scrimmaging around. Bonus point fear if one ventured in our apartment where I could see it. I was fearful of the wrath of Altoria (my mom). All I can say, is that she and Jesus have come a long way (LOL)! Otherwise, I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind, or attempt the things that caused my stomach to feel queasy. Yet, although I was a believer, I had to, over time and years, and decades and now 50 years, learn to exercise the muscle in my mind, soul and spirit to live, move and have my being. The single most concept that has sustained me against the four letter word of “fear” is the five letter word of “faith.” Faith was and remains to be the antidote for anything and everything that scars me to rest in immobility.

If someone would have told me as a child that one could be fearful at 50, I would have thought they were crazy or a liar. You see society would have us to believe that we are injected with some magical serum at around 18 that enables us to fully make good decisions and movement whereby we are unconcerned or unbothered by consequences. Concurrently, we are also taught to believe that at a certain age, we have it all together. Lies. The truth of the matter is the difference between me attempting something now, albeit with consequences perhaps favorable or not, is that I have experienced enough to know that Jesus is enough for whatever I need. Lamentations 3:24 reads, “I say to myself, “the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The Lord has and will always be available to serve as our portion – meaning we can take Him in selected measure for whatever we are facing – whatever we are failing – whatever we are fearing, and expect Him to show up accordingly. The Lord is like a universal measuring cup! He knows exactly how much faith we require for our segmented life of experiences – trials and tribulations – and thus He allows things to happen so that we build our faith, despite our fear. If we received all of who the Lord is, we just couldn’t handle it! As such He gives us just enough of Him, of His glory to see us through. Yet, while we assume Him to be our portion, perhaps the consideration that gets in the way is the latter part of Lamentation 3:24. “Therefore I will wait for Him,” could be the portion that enables fear to seep in. How sway?

We believe God! We stand on His promises! We know if He did it before, He can do it again! We’ve witnessed miracles, signs and wonders! And yet, if homie doesn’t show up in the timeframe that we have curated in our minds, fear creeps in to keep us company. While waiting, we must hold to our faith! I’m not suggesting that it is easy. But it’s harder to be entrapped by fear than to be engaged with faith. I’m not afraid of the dark anymore (I’m still afraid of mice), but now I’m afraid to move without hearing from the Lord. I’m afraid to let disagreements simmer and not apologize, even when I don’t completely feel I was in the wrong. I’m fearful of not forgiving others, no matter how undeniably hurtful they’ve been to me. I’m fearful of not being obedient to Christ and His Word. I’m fearful of not carrying out an assignment that God has given me. I’m fearful of not being grateful and not recognizing the grace and mercy upon my life. You see, 50 year old fear recognizes that I am unworthy. I am a sinner. I am imperfect. I am riddled with characteristics and tendencies, that but for the grace of God, would have rendered me to my own wickedness. I am fearful that without God, I would have acted on the thoughts that have crossed my mind. I don’t hide anymore at what I’m fearful about. I have lived long enough to know, to have the wisdom to face my fear, with my faith.

You don’t have to be 50 to face your fear with faith! God will meet you wherever you are along the age trajectory. He may also allow you to learn lessons earlier so that you don’t have to reach a certain pinnacle in life to make Godly based decisions in everything you do. May we not be foolish to think that we can hold God’s calling upon our life, until we feel we are ready. May we move boldly to the throne to seek what we need, to do what we must and to operate in faith everywhere we go.

Happy Birthday to me! God, I just want to thank you for being my portion – forever!!!

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