On May 7, 2016, I walked across the stage to receive my Master’s of Divinity degree. I still have two classes and eight weeks to go in order to complete my degree; nevertheless, after desiring a divinity degree for 20 years, a dream is finally coming true. I’ve survived three years of non-stop classes and personal trials through the faithfulness of God. I experienced the culmination of it all as I crossed the stage last Saturday morning.
The funny thing about life events is that you want to make sure you have the “perfect” outfit. You know, the one that makes you feel confident and (in my world) comfortable. I am a distance student living in Ohio, but the graduation ceremony was in Virginia. So, I packed clothes to bring with me, but I just didn’t think I had the “perfect” outfit. I spent a good portion of my rainy week searching for the “perfect” pair of dress pants. Here’s what I wanted: They needed to fit just loosely enough, be the right length, and have pockets. I’m a little teapot, so the length of pants is often a great difficulty for me. I need pockets because I have to have somewhere to keep my car keys. We won’t be able to have purses with us. Dilemmas! Dilemmas! Dilemmas!
After spending numerous hours searching, but not finding anything with which I was completely pleased, I went through my “packed” clothes. I had purchased a brand new pair of black dress slacks almost a year ago. The tags were still on them. The last time I tried them on was when I bought them. Life happens. Weight changes. And I, I had been afraid to try them on. After an incredibly long sigh, I mustered up the courage. I was Goldilocks! I had found that which was “Just Right!” The pants fit “just right.” The length is “just right,” and there are two small pockets that are “just right.”
I was searching for something I already had.
Fear does funny things to our thoughts. It shifts our perspective and enables us to see lies as though they are truth. In these situations, fear is not our friend. Fear is like a thunderstorm on a day when all you pray for is sun. Are you longing for love? Are you searching for signs? Are you hoping for help? Is it possible what you are praying for you already possess? The widow in 1 Kings 17 didn’t have any bread to give Elijah; however, she had “just the right” amount of ingredients to make a loaf. She could have allowed her fears to fail her faith. She could have told the prophet no. Making bread is work, so is moving past our fears. Maybe it’s time we stopped judging people’s future through the lens of their past. Maybe it’s time to release the pain, offer forgiveness, and move forward in blessing. Maybe it’s time to trust again. If fear is down-pouring on your sunny days, get an umbrella. Let fear know that you won’t allow him to control you any more through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. He can rain on your parade, but you’re still going to move forward. The more we are willing to fight fear, the sooner we’ll see the sun. And maybe, just maybe God will show us a rainbow as a reminder that fear won’t flood our hearts again!