Category Archives: Fear

Gently

Gently

by Lydia Floren

I’ve been avoiding God again. Well, to be honest, I’ve mostly been avoiding myself – what I might find when I slow down and get still enough to pay attention. Frankly, I don’t want to see the failure. The raw need. The fear. I skirt the edges of these feelings, afraid that, if I face them head on, I will get lost in depression and discouragement.

So, I stay busy. And keep God at arm’s length. But this is not a good long term plan. God is with me, within me, gently calling my name, ready to hear my concerns. I can’t ignore Him. And I miss Him.

So here I am, in the middle of the night, jolted awake by a bad dream. I reach for His comforting presence, before I remember not to. His kindness is startling. Gently He soothes. Embraces. Lifts away my burdens. Gently, He heals past wounds, still raw, gives insight into my pain, and offers perspective – on present events, and past ones.

Gently, He shares truth where I see lies. Gently, He reminds me that He is 100% good, and that I am 100% safe: nothing and no one can touch my identity, value, belonging and calling.

God meets me where I am. And ever so gently, ever so faithfully, He leads me out of my mess, and back into His joy.

He leads me out of my mess and back into His joy.

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

Light In the Shadow

5:5:16 Light in the ShadowLight in the Shadow

by Lydia Floren

I am slumped on a chair beside ICU bed #5. I’m trying to catch a few zzz’s after a fitful night on the waiting room couch. My loved one, tethered to her bed by a dozen tubes and wires, miraculously sleeps. The smells, the sounds, are so foreign. And frightening. Yet I nod off…

beep beep beep beep BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

“Huh? what’s that??!!”

My eyes fly open, and turn to the bed. A heartbeat traces steadily on the
monitor overhead. Her chest rises and falls, rises and falls. I let out a breath. And then push the call button. After a few minutes the nurse steps in. She glances at her patient, and then moves over to check the IV.

Oh. OK. She’s not concerned. Must be a problem with the IV. OK, good.

“Ma’am, if you will step outside, for a few minutes, I will change the IV out, and clean her up a little bit.” Her eyes smile at me, and somehow her voice does too. I step out.

She’s so compassionate. How does she do that, surrounded day after day out by such anxious, hurting souls?

I walk down the hall. I’m anxious. Hurting. I walk and I wonder, reflecting.

There is a shadow of death in the ICU. It flickers in the eyes of the staff, wafts thru the smell of antiseptic, echos in the clangs of bed adjustments. But whether we realize it or not, we live in this shadow every day.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,”. David said.

Fear no evil? How can that be? It was not because there was lack of evil, or death in David’s world. He felt the evil. he experienced it. Yet it didn’t frighten him. He explains.
.
For you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

He did not fear because God was with him, guiding and protecting with His rod and staff.

Christ conquered death. For each of his children, death is not the end, but the transition into a brighter, more beautiful forever, one with no shadows at all. And between here and there, He guides and protects us every minute, with His compassion, His presence, His rod of protection and staff of guidance. Isaiah described Christ’s time on earth this way:

              The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. Is. 9:2 NIV

Christ is our light, our hope, our life in the shadows of every day. He does not disappoint.