Dear Ones,
Hope you had a lovely weekend enjoying the fall colors. We are going to take off shortly for North Carolina and plan to spend the night in Coralville, Iowa, at our favorite hotel. They have a nice walking trail there and also a pool so we can get our exercise after the long hours in the car. We appreciate and are thankful for your prayers for our safety as we travel. It is storming out right now so hope we drive out of it.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Fear is something we all wrestle with and has no natural release valves. I was reading from “Wrestling with God by Ronald Rolheiser and he shares what Bieke, the late Belgian spiritual writer, had to say about her struggles. She was facing a terminal illness at the age of 19 and wrote about how she was tormented by sadness, anger, and fear. She felt we can handle sadness and anger easier than the fear. Sadness can be expressed through grieving and tears that soften our hearts; we cry and we feel better.  We may deal with anger through expressing it by punching bags, exercise, shouting etc. and get some release.  But fear is not something that has an escape valve that will lighten it. Fear can’t be taken out on someone else, but we have to live with it and endure it until we are willing to give it to God.
 Many people live with fear of death because of the unknown. As a nurse many years ago, I saw the difference of those who were ready to meet the Lord from those who did not know Him. Those that were afraid had their call light on all the time, and were filled with anxiety. But those who were waiting to go home to glory had a sense of peace.  Jesus came to rid us of our fears and so many times in scripture it says to Fear Not.  
We can probably all remember fears we had as a child and mostly overcome them as we grew up. But there is also a healthy fear of God when we have a loving sense of awe and reverence for Him. We may fear we may not be faithful to what He asks of us, or that we don’t trust Him enough, or that we may disappoint Him, but that is not the same as being afraid of Him. Jesus doesn’t want us afraid but that we live in holy fear like David who was called a friend of God. God is merciful, kind, forgiving and good and we do not have to fear. As it says in Isaiah 43:1-2 (The Message), “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—Because I am God, your personal God.”  He goes on to say that we are precious to Him, honored and loved by Him. Let us not fear; reverence yes, but not be afraid.
Challenge for today: Give all your fears to the Lord and trust Him with everything.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy