Facing My Fears Is Painful

I was reading in John chapter 11 this morning. I see myself in that scripture. I see myself doubting and not trusting God like I should. Let me explain.


If you read in John 11, Jesus is telling his disciples He has to go back to Judea because Lazarus is dead. When in Judea before, they tried to kill Jesus so the disciples freaked out at having to return. They had had a particular experience there before so they feared going back again. Been there done that, right? They told Jesus that Lazarus would get well so they did not need to go back but Jesus responded in faith. They told Him that He was going to get stoned if He went back, but Jesus responded in faith again. Then lastly, Thomas (poor Thomas always gets the bad wrap) said, “Hey let’s go with Jesus so we can all just die with Him”. Again, they were in total fear even though Jesus kept on and kept on telling them it was going to be ok.

In this scripture I saw a few things. I saw Jesus saying, “This is the plan, you need to face your fear and cast it out”. I also saw His repeated attempts to explain the situation to the disciples and get their faith kicking in. I also saw me; hiding and trembling in these scriptures.

This holiday season I have had to face a lot of fears. Fears with family situations, fears with friend situations, and fears from my past I thought I had buried. And quite frankly, fears of not wanting to revisit painful places again, ever. This has been excruciating. I don’t like it at all. As a matter of fact I would rather just “not even go to Judea cause I have been there before”. Why not just move on and just avoid Judea, there are lots of other places to go, right? Because God has been and is trying to get me to face my fears. How can His perfect love cast it out if I won’t even acknowledge that it is there? If I won’t even revisit Judea, how can he resurrect what has died there? Yes there is death awaiting in Judea and the stench is very strong but God resurrected Lazarus and He can resurrect my deal too. If I let Him.

Will you go to Judea so Jesus can resurrect you too?

In that same chapter of John, we see Jesus proclaim that He IS the resurrection and the life!


~ by pennymaxwell on January 3, 2009.

13 Responses to “Facing My Fears Is Painful”

  1. Thanks for being so brave and honest. Those are just two of the many qualities which make your life so appealing to others.Jesus said, ” there is a narrow door which leads to life and few are those who find it.” I believe that narrow doors leads right through the very place you have described. Many of us will continue through life repeating patterns of behaviour that lead us round and round the mountain instead of directly to the promised land God has intended for us. The only way out of this cycle is death. Just like Luke Skywalker we have to go back into that dark and scary cave and face the fact Darth Vader may really be our father. Death and resurection are the only permanent cure. Everything else is just a band aid. I tend to think that’s where the real Christian life begins. Real baptism is coming out of death and into the fearless life. If I am in Christ I can never again be afraid of death beacuse I’ve alraedy died. I can’t be afraid of poverty because I’ve already given everything away. I can’t be afraid of loss and abandonment because I’ve already lost everything and everyone has already abandoned me.Wahoo!

  2. You weren’t alone in the fear boat this holiday season … but after it was all said and done … I must say it was one of the best I’ve had and yet the painfullest so far 🙂 family, friends and church … there’s this saying that my sister and I laugh at … my family tree is full of nuts … but it goes much deeper than that … when I think of things from the past , there are some that are painful … but then I see what God has brought me out of and praise Him … because I KNOW that without Him … I’d be nothing. And I saw that it was ok to “visit” these places again … because for me obedience bring about healing …. and family is family and friends are friends .. and doesn’t everyone need Jesus? But I must admit … during all the family stuff I said to myself many times ..this is only a visit this is only a visit! They’ll be gone is four hours TOPS! haha! And I also said … let my light shine for you Jesus! I would say Jesus reigned during my holiday season! And I am pretty sure He did too in yours … how come I feel like I need to up the therapy visits now? hahahahaha!

  3. I think part of me is in shock because I did not go into the holiday season feeling the way I do. It happened once I was neck deep. I felt unsafe and vulnerable by several situations that took place. I did not like that at all but I know that God has got this, if I let Him have it.

    You see I saw myself wanting to pull back when some things started unfolding but God said no. So I stuck my neck out and let it be ok that I felt horribly uncovered and foolish. I know that He is using these situations to cause me to grow. It is growing pains. And while my flesh HATES it, my spirit is probably jumping up and down inside wanting more.

  4. I think as Christians, we think that the Blood of Jesus gives us amnesia, and that if it is “under the Blood” then we know longer have to deal with or acknowledge the bad, negative and painful situations in our lives. Thanks for reminding us to face our Judea and not hide behind our Christianese front.

  5. This spoke to me! When we revisit a painful situation, we think it will turn out the same way again. NOT TRUE! God changes people and situations every day. I saw two brothers become friends after 20 years of not speaking to each other. They started talking to each other instead of listening to other family members. I think that is why the Word says “GO” to your brother or your sister when they have wronged you. (where’s that verse?)

  6. I’m stunned….oh WOW! Seriously….are you in my head? Do you have cameras in my house? I want to come back & share what *MY* holidays were like, but right now I’m speechless.

  7. AND…..KIM Z, really….stop being so logical!!! 😉

  8. Shannon it is Matthew 18. We all could do well to remember that. I think that the hard thing for me is when I say something stupid or dumb I am judged a little harder and I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right all the time. That is a hard job and not one I can fulfill. I just have to trust God to help me when I do something stupid.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people in ministry who put on the persona that they got it all together so when they meet people like me, I blow their facade quickly! 🙂

    I try to be open guys, thanks for your dear comments. You guys are the best!

  9. Kim Z is a man, that is what they do! 🙂 Just wait, if John Lambert sees this he will be logical too. Well maybe not now that I said that but I am sure he was thinking about being logical down in there somewhere! 🙂

  10. In this scripture I see a couple things, the first you touched on was fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of death, pain etc, and doubt. Doubt in Jesus, doubt among the disciples. Unbelief was there too. Sound familiar Fear, Doubt Unbelief. The Devil was on the premises. Amazing how he hides himself but he is always there. The answer was right there in front of them. Jesus. Courage personified. Faith in the flesh. It goes on to tell the end of the story and the raising of Lazarus. Now, did all those fears disappear, the doubts become surity? Not at first but the courage came, the faith came and led to the witness of the resurrection. Resurrection=Promise. Courage and Faith lead you to the promise. Courage does not mean that fear goes away it just means it doesn’t have the last word. Faith is the knowledge that the end is already written and you win. If you haven’t won you haven’t gotten to the end yet.

  11. wow, this just rocked my world. I too am speechless and teary eyed. Thank you Pastor P. Your honesty and truth have spoken to my heart. Wow.

  12. I too was thrust into the past when my brother-in-law died the day after Christmas and I was thrust in a situation that mirrored my past. As God has broken alot of my past off me this year. I took the plunge and confronted the person that was the issue and got some things off my chest in a polite way. I felt so much better and thanked God afterward for breaking more of my past off, even though it hurts at the time. Each time He does, I feel lighter and lighter and freer and freer. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

  13. I agree with Kim Z.

    ha ha! 😉 Don’t hate on logical men. We have deep feeling sides too. Just takes longer to get through to them. Besides, what would you do without us?? :-0

    No really, I had a wild time this holiday season too. I met my natural father that I haven’t had a real conversation with in 32 years! At each place, Jacq and I traveled these few months we were reminded of our painful and broken pasts. I think you hit a nerve here with a majority of us PP. Who would have guessed that none of us had an easy life? But look at us now baby! We are the founders of a whole new generation and way of life.

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