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A Pastor In Peril

Hidden Fears: Lifelong Tears

Hidden Fears: Lifelong TearsMy tailoring skills are minimal. In fact, when I attempt to thread a needle, I become a nightmarish creature that is all fingers and thumbs! Every time I get close to inserting the spit-moistened end of the thread, that cheeky needle winks its eye at me!

On the plus side, of course, there are threading aids available; or I can just ask someone with nimbler digits to thread the needle on my behalf. Once that crucial preparatory job is done, I can then pull through the fabric as much thread, yarn, or wool as I need in order to darn the sock, secure the button, or make any other kind of long-lasting repair.

Reflecting on the fabric of my life, I have come to realise that a mere moment of inattention will allow a negative thought to destabilize me; an adverse circumstance to cloud my judgement; a flash of irritation to scuttle the ship of my industrious endeavour.

Left unchallenged, such destructive forces can affect us adversely for years to come. And, because Satan knows God’s plans for our lives, he will do anything to stop us developing into the people God that has planned for us to be. Sometimes – Heaven forfend! – he even tries to kill us.

And a key weapon in Satan’s arsenal is fear. Those who have experienced the sharpness of that emotion are all too well aware how destructive it can be. Only in recent years has it come to my attention (after receiving prayer counselling) that I, as a baby, was involved in a car accident. Of course, I was too young to remember details; but my mother (now passed) shared with me that our car was hit by with another, rolling over several times before finally coming to rest in a ditch. The windscreen had smashed, and glass shards had sliced into my eyebrows.

Unbeknown to me during my early years, the incident had a profound psychological effect on me. It explains why (among other things) I always feared school gymnastics lessons: they involved doing somersaults, and other activities that involved rolling over…and over…and over…

I once read an inspiring little book (whose title I have regrettably forgotten) that gave a memorable metaphor for deciding to become a Christian. Beforehand, it said, we are tenants of the Old Landlord. He has control of our lives, and wants his influence to persist for ever. Thus he embattles us, setting up “strong-rooms” from which we cannot exclude him. And yet, we can! By deciding to become Christians (the book went on), we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives, where He is free to work His Wonders – and the Old Landlord’s strongholds are demolished, brick by brick.

It is thanks to God, I now realise, that I have been liberated from the fears that embattled my early life!

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