A GOOD CHURCH LADY knows that fear is a sin. Jesus never said, “Try not to be afraid.” He said, “Do not be afraid.” And every time he said this, which by the way was the commandment he spoke more than any other, he always explained to his sheep the reason why.
The problem? Some of us are truly dumb sheep.
The day I got my third husband out of my house was the day I remembered I had $30,000 cash value in a life insurance policy. Finding that money took a lot of fear away, but I was so worn out by all of the lessons I was learning about how God goes about his business in exchanging my best thinking in “The Gospel According to Me” for his ways. So, I didn’t mention to the Lord that I had this money. Proverbs 14:12
Dumb sheep are often conniving sheep.
Afraid to put the money in the bank for fear the IRS would seize it, I hid the money at a girlfriend’s home in a spare closet. I could have kept the money hidden in my own house, but I figured God would see it there, and I wanted him to think I was flat broke so he would open the doors to the work I desperately needed.
This proves the opposite of faith is fear. (And that dumb sheep often think they’re brilliant.)
I made frequent stops at my friend’s house to get the cash I needed. I tried so hard to not be afraid by continuing to read my Bible and learn the mystery of God’s ways. When I went to church it was all “Praise Jesus” among those happy people who seemed to have no problems, and when I came home, I was back in my reality.
How’s this for reality: The IRS wanted to seize my house. They said it would offset the $500,000 debt they decided I owed on behalf of the husband who fought against divorce. No wonder. He liked to quote ‘God hates divorce’ when it was convenient. He just liked to leave out the second part of that scripture that says God hates violence more.
Running out of money and uncertain that I had pleased God in this relatively new journey as a Jesus follower, I was paralyzed with fear. I felt lost, broken, and utterly helpless. Faced with the decision of stiffing my childcare helper or buying groceries, I gave her the last of my money. That was the day I threw myself onto my bed and cried out in anger to God, accusing him of being impotent and unloving.
We will either wait on God or God will wait on us.
Was it coincidence that the bank called right after I told God my circumstances couldn’t get any worse or was that God showing me they could? Was it coincidence they wanted $27,000 for a banking error made the prior year or did God know I still had a little fight in me?
Was it coincidence that I had suddenly remembered a $30,000 cash value from a life insurance policy the day I got my husband out of my house ten months earlier or was that God’s way of showing me that I can never hide from him?
Was it coincidence that the Lord waited until I finally got to the end of myself and my effort and money when the phone rang again from a stranger who wanted to give me work?
If you don’t know the Jesus I know, you may believe it coincidence, for I have come to learn that even with evidence to the contrary, if one refuses to believe, he or she will not believe.
You can call me a dumb sheep, but I already know that I am.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?—Luke 15:4 (NIV)
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures (even when I fight to do so),
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths (even when I think my path is best)
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, (where I think I will die)
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.—Psalm 23:1-4
As always, it is my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.
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If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.–Jesus(Mark 4:23)