I sat in the parking lot, gasping for air, terrified because my lungs would not inflate. Each breathe in felt like knives punctured my lungs. As I waited for the medication to force my lungs back open, I cried out to God for help. Even as the medication did its job, anxiety and fear held me firm in their grasp. I was out of control, unsure of what to do next.
For the first time ever, I felt true terror at not being in control. Just that morning I had read a devotion on the Fear of The Lord. As I sat there, I pondered, is this what He means to fear him?
Over the years God has proven that He does not judge me for my sins, instead He loves me more than I could ever deserve. Yet that ingrained belief that I deserve judgment alone continues to strangle me. Especially when I loose what little control I feel I have. As my world spins out of control, my joy and peace vanish. I begin to question God and His love for me, instead of resting in His promises. I begin to shake in fear of His judgment, instead of standing secure in the awe of who He is.
See that is what fear of the Lord is. Not a terror that He may strike me down at any moment. But the awe that overwhelms me when, instead of lightning, I receive love. That moment, when I drag my weary bloodied corpse to the foot of the cross, drenched in the sins of my heart, and instead of wrath He picks me up, cleans me off, wraps me in princess robes and holds me in His wondrous love.
That is fear of the Lord.
As I drove home from the grocery store I pondered how my asthma attack relates to my walk with God. For years, I have denied that my asthma was out of control. I have suffered physically and emotionally because of this, losing sleep and peace. I have grasped onto this denial because my fear of admitting it was out of control outweighed my desire to be well. The same thing happens with sin in my life. I know it is out of control, I know it needs to be confessed. But the fear of that judgmental God keeps me in denial, pushing forward, pretending I have it under control. I lose sleep, I have no joy and my peace evaporates. All in the name of control.
But God doesn’t want us to be in control. He wants us to rely on Him. Because when I am unbalanced, and unsure of what tomorrow will bring, I run to Him. In that free fall I find Him in the center. As the winds rip around me, I find joy in the chaos, strength in the process and love in His arms.
Chaos rips at my skin
Life rushes past
Seconds run through my fingers
Oh Lord, how long must I wait for you?