For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
When I think about some of the women who have made the largest impact on my life, I find that these women quite often had a gentleness about them. A gentleness that I desperately would want to emulate. I can’t say the number of times that I would try to do just that, only to have my own personality rise to the surface again and again…and again.
I finally realized that I needed to embrace the ME that God created me to be. It wasn’t until I began to fall deeper and deeper into Him that I finally learned that this gentleness that I so wanted for myself was not merely a “personality” trait. It was an inherent trait that was a gift from God.
It’s not something that can be emulated. It’s not something that can even really be learned. It is simply something that is gifted gradually, as you learn more, trust more, give in more…to Him.
I read these words this morning, “A quiet and gentle spirit is a heart free from fear.”
I had to read it several times and think about it. And then read it a few more times. That is a powerful statement and, the more I read it, the more God opened up my understanding of it.
I’ve always wanted that gentleness for myself.
But I’ve always struggled with the fear factor.
Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of letting someone down, of dropping an important ball. Fear of the unexpected. Fear of the future. Fear of the past. Fear of my accomplishments.
In hindsight, it’s fear that has made me occasionally do some of those kind of crazy things. Fear speaks without thinking. Fear freaks out. It wanders on its own for solutions and explanations. It races to “fix things,” or at least searches for a way to figure them out.
Fear fusses and fidgets, messes and obsesses.
This morning my heart is repentant and I kneel before Him with an all-new understanding of both, fear and gentleness. I’ll try to remember from now on to fear in only these ways:
- Protected: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them:” (Psalm 34:7)
- Given wisdom: “Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose” (Psalm 25:12, NLT)
- A friend of God: “Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear Him. With them He shares the secrets of His convenant.” (Psalm 25:14, NLT)
- Secure in God’s love: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:11)
- Provided for by God: “Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.” (Psalm 34:9)
- Satisfied: “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23, NKJV)
I want a lot, spiritually speaking. If I were to make a wish-list for all that I desire in this realm, I’d be hard-pressed to know what I want most. But I do know that somewhere very close to the top of that list would be this gentleness that is bred only by being rooted and secure in Him. In times of stress or lonely drought, I want to exercise faith, not fear. I want to radiate peace and joy.
I want a fearless beauty.