I spend quite a bit of my day looking down. Especially when I walk, I’m always looking down.
My sensation in my feet, because of nerve damage from my spine surgeries, is almost completely gone. I can’t trust the nerves to communicate accurately to my brain, so my body compensates through using my vision. I want to be sure I’m not walking on unsteady ground, about to trip over a misplaced toy, or step on something sharp or hot.
One thing I’ve noticed about this habit, though, is that when I’m constantly looking down, many times all I can see are shadows. The sun or light source is always above me, but objects and even my own body get in the way of that light and cast confusing shadows where I’m trying to walk.
I like to think of myself as a person who doesn’t fear a whole lot. But recently I’ve been aware that I do still struggle with fear. I’ve been experiencing increased nerve pain in my feet that pulses relentlessly when I’m trying to sleep and pain in my knees from the misalignment of my feet and legs. I’ve been looking down a lot, trying to figure out how to stop this pain. Every time I look down, rather than finding answers, I am washed over with new fear. Primarily the fear of getting older and how that will affect my body.
There are other fears I’ve been struggling with. Decisions of where to send Promise for school next year. It’s been a rough year of Kindergarten and I fear making the wrong choice for her for first grade (and on). I’m fearful towards the possibility that my mom, who has been struggling with hearing changes for the past 3 (+) months, may need a complicated surgery on her head and ear. I’m constantly looking down at my phone or my laptop, searching for answers to these fears, but I am always just left with more confusion and fear.
I know that constantly looking down isn’t working for me. I need to look up, directly into the sunlight or Son’s light. That’s the only place that confusing shadows cannot exist.
This morning I looked up every verse on fear that I could find in my Bible. I used an online tool http://www.blueletterbible.org to help me trace the origin of the word “fear” in both the Old Testament and New Testament. I came away with the following takeaways;
1. The only fear that should exist in my life is the fear of the LORD… of Yahweh. This word “fear” in Hebrew is “yare” which means to “have reverence”, “awe”, “dread”. This fear is healthy and vital for my life because it will lead me to the wisdom that I need and desire.
2. There is no room in my life for the “phobo” type of fear. The fear of people and what they can do to me. This type of fear will only tangle me up (Proverbs 29:25). I need to take this fear and replace it with the fear of God. The reverent awe of God. The understanding that God is the one who ultimately controls everything, most importantly life and death.
So today on this beautiful sunny day, I’m going to look directly into the light. Will you?
I also ask that you pray for clear answers for my mom’s ear on Thursday. These tests will determine if her condition can be fixed through a non-invasive surgery or if she will need the more complicated surgery. We are obviously hoping and praying for the former option.
Thank you friends and enjoy your day in the sun!