Where does your mind go when you hear that phrase? Depends on how you’re affected, beginning with your age.
If you happen to be the lucky soul turning Sweet Sixteen, you’re excited, ready to get behind the wheel of that car, ready to take on the world.
If, however, you happen to be the parent of the sixteen year old, I’d like to offer the thought of Sweet Sixteen as an oxymoron. Sitting in that passenger seat gives you a panoramic you may not wish to view.
Three for three of our boys will tell you their least favorite time of my mothering came when they got their driver permits. It forced me in the passenger seat for six very long months.
Their favorite phrase to utter became my least favorite one to hear: “Move over, Mom, I’m drivin’….” It’s a wonder I didn’t punch a hole in the floor or rip off a door handle.
Naturally my sweet husband, the adventurous one, loved teaching the boys to drive. Somehow, tho’, I was usually the one with them because of school, etc.
This week in our fifth and final post on fear, we are going to bring home some tactics to carry with us when we encounter fearful situations. I’m sad to bid farewell to my favorite little book on fear by Debora M. Coty, Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates—Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life’s Worries.
Again, to grasp the entirety of the book requires you read the entire book. It’s so good and includes twenty-two amazing chapters. I’ve simply given you morsels.
A certain “activity” seems to be haunting me, no thanks to different authors, who do not know each other, yet who seem to truly believe in this activity. It surfaces in Bible studies I’ve done repeatedly. When this happens, I firmly believe it is our precious Lord getting our attention.
The “activity”? Scripture memorization. Groan…..I s’pose I avoid it because I’m not gifted in this area. I can’t remember milk at the grocery store, much less multiple words…And yet, the benefits are innumerable.
Rob Morgan wrote a wonderful book that is the perfect addition to your library and hopefully your Scripture arsenal. It’s 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.
Rob says “if you’ll just invest at least five minutes a day, you’ll reap seven remarkable benefits:
1 – Clearer thoughts.
2 – Steadier nerves.
3 – Healthier emotions.
4 – Purer habits.
5 – Happier homes.
6 – Greater respect.
7 – Eternal optimism.”
Let’s join Debora Coty, our Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates author, perched high on a snow-covered mountain top, waiting for a rescue team to find her. Seems she took quite a spill while snow skiing that did some damage to her knee…
She said, “A Bible verse I’d learned long ago sprang to my mind: ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth’(Psalm 121:1-2 NIV). I said the verse aloud again and again. The words seemed to take on a life of their own, growing richer and mightier and more vibrant each time.”
She continued, “Then a strange and marvelous thing happened. The majesty of the mountaintop scene consumed me, and a warm, quiet peace filled my heart. I realized that I had indeed been given a sword—a powerful weapon that would keep fear, my immortal enemy, from ripping my helpless, defenseless heart into itsy-bitsy pieces.”
“Verse after verse started popping into my head, some from childhood, some more recently memorized, some I thought were long forgotten. Like old friends, they surrounded and comforted me.”
Debora calls this mountaintop epiphany the day she “learned to swordfight”. She adds, “I’m a firm believer in the mega-importance of keeping a full arsenal of scripture loaded and ready for battle. God’s Word is our sword…it must be mobile, sharp, and handy at all times. Even on a lonely mountaintop.”
A couple of favorite verses prove this to be true:
Hebrews 4:12 tell us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…”
Ephesians 6: 10-18 teaches us all about putting on the armor of God. Verse 17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.”
Now armed with our swords, we must stay armed…as in not parking them at the door. I’ll never forget hearing Angela Thomas speak one time. She said, “If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, Satan views you as sportin’ a red target on your back. We’d best be prepared for his attacks.”
Let’s add this verse to our list: I Peter 5:8 warns us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
My Life Application Bible enlightens: “Peter warns us to watch out for Satan…feeling alone, weak, helpless, so focused on our troubles, we forget to watch out for danger, making us especially vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.”
James 4:7 reminds us to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Debora gives us some great verses to memorize to combat our fear in Chapter Sixteen. This one you can remember easily: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
So whether or not you’re jumping into the passenger seat with your sixteen year old, or walking down the halls of a hospital for tests, or sitting in a motorcade of a funeral, or facing one of your biggest hurdles, hold on to the best lifeline available, God’s Word. He will sustain you.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASB)
I pray you’ve been encouraged to “fear not” after our five weeks together, thanks to Debora’s wonderful book. Thank you, Debora! Your faithfulness has helped so many of us!
I also pray you and your families will have a most blessed Christmas season and reflect on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and His most amazing birth.
This week, in honor of Nelson Mandela who just passed away, let’s close with a quote from him on fear: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
‘Til next time!
This week’s chocolate recommendation: a delicious, but disastrous discovery from Costco—and you get not one, but six packages of brownie mix. Try Ghiradelli’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix.
This week’s post is dedicated to my new friend and counselor (!!!), author Debora M. Coty. I have never enjoyed a book more. I’ll be reading and re-reading Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates ‘til the Lord returns. And I can’t wait to start your other books! Merry Christmas and thanks for your wonderful inspiration!!! God’s Blessings!!!