Fear :: Part 1

by - March 09, 2020

I hate fear. I'm giving it up for Lent and hopefully for life, but I'm wired that way. Fear and I go way back. I'm an Enneagram Six.


God has had me in the book of Isaiah for a long while, at least since last May. It started with chapter 55 and began spreading into neighboring chapters like an epidemic. Then a nine-month sermon series from Isaiah started last fall. By November, I had decided I was full-on doing Isaiah. I scoured the house for all my resources: an abandoned bible study I started 15 years ago, Wiersbe's Old Testament commentary, one of my study bibles with its own commentary. I planned to track down every cross-reference listed to every verse before I left a chapter. I had built Isaiah Mountain on my kitchen counter.

And then? Christmas shopping. And December in general.

Isaiah Mountain was never climbed. About three weeks later, I dismantled it, overwhelmed by the sight. But the sermon series had been amazing so far. I was learning so much, and Isaiah kept showing up in my life in serendipitous ways. I couldn't help but want more.

I stumbled upon a bible study series that moved a little faster than the exhaustive, unabridged version I had planned for myself. This one delved into one chapter a day. It was deeper than a devotional, but lighter than a graduate course in Isaiah, and so I began.

It pairs nicely with our Isaiah series at church, which is a wonderful mix of topical and expository approach.


Last week was a bear for me. I worked overtime, even though I was out of the office for:
--a car accident (fender bender, but still)
--a doctor's visit with my daughter who had a viscous stomach virus for six day. SIX DAYS!
--a mother who needed a little extra time and attention
--a counseling session

Each one of these things brought with them a trail of extra weight, plus I had some unusual work-related emergencies. I didn't eat or sleep well, though I tried.

My bible and study laid dormant since last Monday. And Fear was sticking closer than a brother. Again. Because I was so stressed out, I didn't even recognized his presence.

I characterize him as male, because he feels stronger than me, like men are physically stronger. I recognize this is setting myself up for defeat from the beginning, but I have a long history here, and if you fact check it, you'll find it to be true. Fear usually wins when he picks a fight, at least with me.

I often struggle to see this verse prove true because of my longstanding battle with fear. But I won't ever give up fighting for this truth to be revealed in me.

{This essay concludes here in Fear :: Part 2.}

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  1. You sound a lot like me. I really appreciate your transparency and encouragement in sharing.


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