It’s Saturday, which means I’ve listened to another episode of Being Known, specifically episode “Dwell” from season three.
In it Dr. Thompson made a reference that those who place faith in Jesus become indwelt by the Holy Spirit, making them a house of the Lord.
My lyrical brain immediately thought of Phil Wickham’s song by that title. I paused the podcast and listened to that song through the lens that any reference to the house of the Lord was to a believer, not to a building. That was impactful.
In that listening I also considered that perspective suggested a more personal choice of pronouns in the song. So I began changing all the “we’s” to “I.” Even more impactful.
You may not know this song. Here’s the official lyric video. Take a few minutes to listen to the song several times.
First, to familiarize yourself with it.
Then listen from the perspective that you are the house.
Then a final time changing the plural pronouns to singular.
The main reason they stuck is the contrast between the doubting of love and the exchanging of grace. Been on my mind for several weeks now, so these lyrics heard through the lens of Easter stopped me in my morning routine.
That’s what grace does. Makes you pause. Humbles your expectations. Erases your doubts. Brings you back.
May we all pause in humility to be brought back from our wandering through the erasing of our doubts of God’s love this Easter!
Yesterday I saw the CBS commercial featuring actors from their shows sending this message: “We’re in this together.” Yes, community is important, always but certainly now.
If you think about that message for a moment, you can be more descriptive by replacing “this” with a specific noun. Like…
…We’re in economic uncertainty together
…We’re in confusion together
…We’re in isolation together
…We’re in media overload together
…We’re in the drive through together
…We’re in the grocery line together
…We’re in fear fatigue together
I’ll stop there to chew on that one. This “this” is one of the major things we are in together.
Some of us by nature, personality, or any number of reasons tend to live more fearfully. But this is different. This feels like we’re all in fear together whether we want to be or not. Feels forced, on many levels.
We all have natural tendencies in responding to fear. Generally, we are defined as fighters or flighters. I tend to be the former, which explains why I tend to believe much of the fear we are in together is forced.
Regardless of its origination or our response tendency to it, fear does not get an automatic win. It can be overcome when we choose to combat it. You probably are already trying to combat it, subconsciously or thoughtfully. In case you’d like more help, because we’re in this together, here are five ways I’m combating forced fear.
Created a Playlist…just this morning I decided it was time to create a COVID-19 playlist. My list includes songs that address fear directly, bring God into the picture, and focus on the hope of eternity. Pretty sure I’ll be playing it daily.
Exercising Early…many years ago I had to overcome not being a morning person in order to pursue better running training. I’m not in training mode right now. But I’ve put my mind in combat fear mode, meaning setting the alarm on most mornings to get up and exercise first thing. My guess is, if you don’t already do this, when you give it a try you’ll like it.
Increasing Peace Intake…this “this” is to combat that media overload we’re in together. Here’s a challenge to consider: however much time you spend watching, reading, scrolling, engaging in media that produces fear in you, spend at least that same amount of time or more taking in peace. Whatever produces peace in your heart, mind, and spirit needs equal time. Personally I’m barely looking at Twitter, looking at Facebook less, and pretty much looking at headlines only.
Making Others First…this one can be very simple. Something as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in the grocery line, greeting the cashier by name, thanking them for the extra work they are doing, being empathetic with those you’re together with in the grocery aisles (practiced these Wednesday). For something more impactful, ask God to bring to mind someone to bless and how to do it (doing this today).
Reading>Meditating…in particular, biblical characters that endured forced fear. Examples: Joseph, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, Mary and Joseph, and certainly Jesus. Many of them were forced to face the fear of death. Read their stories. Meditate on how they combated fear. I’m taking a look at Genesis all this weekend.
How are you dealing with forced fear? Got something else to share? Please do. We’re in forced fear together.