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I'm Scared to Change
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 6: Possibilities & Practicalities - Day 5
“WE EXPERIENCE MOMENTS ABSOLUTELY FREE FROM WORRY. THESE BRIEF RESPITES ARE CALLED PANIC. ” —CULLEN HIGHTOWER
Fear has a taste. I’ve only tasted it once. It was a summer evening in Charlotte, NC. My old Volvo sedan could almost drive itself on my monthly pilgrimage to the Queen City from my hometown in Richmond, VA. Fueled my audio books and gallons of latte, the 300 miles of solitude became as important as the counseling degree I pursued.
A friend of mine had offered his family’s country house for the weekend, and I was looking forward to a great girl’s night with my sister-in-law, traveling from Atlanta for our rendezvous. After a dinner and conversation in the rocking chairs on the porch, Tracy and I tucked in for the night. What a great idea it had been to meet in Charlotte! But by 2AM that evening, that idea seemed like a bad one.
When the sound of crunching tires on gravel woke us, the taste of fear began. We were at the end of a mile-long private drive. With a locked gate. Nobody would hear us out here, off a lonely country road in south Charlotte! Headlights shone through our bedroom window. Despite the fact that my sleeping nephew, still a baby, was between us and the front door, neither of us moved. Apparently, the mother instinct wasn’t working in either one of us.
Heavy boots knocked the wooden patio as large shadowy figures circled the house. I have never felt afraid like that. I was literally paralyzed: frozen in place. I didn’t know what to do, and even if I did, my body wouldn’t have cooperated. I finally unstuck my arm enough to call my friend whose family owned the house. She answered, strangely on one ring despite the late hour. “Megan...” I whispered, “There are people at the house!”
Turns out, the family had crossed wires and didn’t know we were staying. The large shadowy figures was a family member and his buddies looking to camp out together—who, it turns out, were as scared as we were. But that moment of paralysis —and the taste of fear—is a tattooed into my memory.
Fear and the resulting paralysis can keep us from our own divine pursuits. Let’s dig in today and see what we can learn to thaw out our fear paralysis and move forward.
Although it’s never explicit in Jonah, we are safe to assume that Jonah was shaking in his sandals from his near-death experience. However, there are many places in scripture where fear is more obviously a factor.
One of those stories is found in the book of Numbers. Let me set the scene: Moses has led God’s people, the Israelites, out of slavery in Egypt. After wandering for 40 years because of their rebellion (now TH ...
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