The morning of 9/12 was marked by a deep sorrow. So many innocent lives had been lost on 9/11, the day before. But for many that day also marked another tragedy. It was a day millions of people became paralyzed………. by fear.
The most outward demonstration of this fear was the silence in the skies. All flights in the United States had been suspended. Although I appreciated the attempts of our government to keep us safe, I was dismayed at the irrational fear of flying, or shopping, or being in a public place. The enemy’s greatest victory that day was the resulting plague of fear that spread across the country in response to their horrible actions.
Fear is the ultimate weapon of terrorism.
If we refuse to live in fear, terrorism fails. Fear paralyzes more severely that any spinal cord injury you can imagine. Fear, more than any other obstacle, keeps people from living fully alive. For me, not flying on 9/12 because a terrorist might be on the plane was the equivilant of not going outside because lightning might hit me. Out of defiance, I wanted to get on a plane and fly to anywhere for no reason at all. Then get on another one and fly to another destination. Don’t get me wrong. In the past I have lived in fear…… and I still occasionally allow it’s deadly shadow to affect my life, but as a part of my new commitment to live fully alive, I am determined not to allow fear to rule my life.
We don’t need a catastrophe like 9/11 to have us cowering in fear. We have our own terrorists that plague our lives.
Political upheaval in the world?
Name your own terrorist _______________________?
Paul said, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Timothy 1:7) He also said, In Romans 8:38- 39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Of course we are not supposed to take stupid risks, but Paul is right. NO government, NO person, NO failure, NO difficulty….. NOTHING in all the universe …..can separate us from the most important thing of all, the Love of Christ. We have nothing to fear.
What can we learn from the Significance of 9/12?
- We can learn that fear KILLS the ability to live fully alive.
- We can refuse to be “terror-fied” (sic)
- We can choose to “LIVE!”
I am instructing my team to make a t shirt that proclaims. Fear Free Zone. I plan to wear it…… and live it.
What fears have threatened to paralyze you?
What has been helpful in conquering those fears?
I look forward to your comments.
The most fearful time of my life was a few years ago when we lived in another country and there was great political unrest. There’d been lots of vandalism and crime and the streets were not safe. The grocery stores and other businesses had been taken over by protesters. The airport had been shut down. The radio station had been taken over to broadcast anti-government propaganda. The streets were riddled with burning tires so you couldn’t get around the city easily. We heard reports of city buses being hijacked and set on fire. Our landlord instructed us not to open our door unless we knew who was coming and who was on the other side. Those were tense days. Should we stay and wait it out? Should we pack up what we could and flee?
We made the decision to stay but I lived in such fear for the weeks of the demonstrations. Fortunately Americans were not the target but one could always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the houses that were being hit by the crime spree were more or less random. I felt like such an awful Christian, a disappointment to God that I was having such trouble with trust. We couldn’t easily let friends back home know what was happening, so when we asked for prayer it had to be in general terms. There were a few close friends I wrote to confidentially. I told them not to mention anything to our parents so as not to alarm them.
God’s Word was what carried me through that time, and over and over I’d recite the “be not afraid” verses, the “I will not fail thee” verses, and especially “I am with you always.”
I have to confess those verses didn’t remove all the anxiety, but they were a shield to my soul. They were God’s voice in my head and I knew He was right there. I knew He didn’t want me to be paralyzed with fear.
I apologize for such a long comment, Ken, but your post on this topic of fear is such a reality in today’s world. You have outlined how to take the fear by the horns and not let the enemy have victory. Could you comment how to help children through fear issues? Kids face a lot of tough situations today… bullies, divorce, cancer, crime. How do we help children not be paralyzed by fear when there are real alligators in their world?
Carol, Thank you for your comment. Your life gives your words a lot of credibility.
I started college almost 4 years ago a sound believer in Christ and His teachings. I got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and started some fellowship groups of my own right away, but being a Christian college student in a public University is not the norm.
It wasn’t long until the voices of others were beginning to overpower the voice of God. My relationship with Him began to suffer as a result. My fear of not being accepted had led me to the belief that I had to “fit in” with the rest of society to feel wanted, so I started dressing like everyone else, listening to their music, talking like they did, etc.
Though after all of those changes I never did feel accepted. That’s when it hit me. Jesus always accepted me. Jesus never let me down. Jesus was always there for me and so were my fellow brother and sisters in Christ. My fear had led me to believe that I had to be like everyone else. My fear had separated me from a God who loves me for who I am. My fear paralyzed me from living out my life for God.
My terrorist was the fear of not be accepted by those around me.
God helped me overcome that fear about a year ago and our relationship has never been stronger.
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13
Josh, The fear of not being accepted may be the greatest fear of all. Christ was rejected in his effort to save us. I love your scripture. We need not fear.
I found out I was expecting our first (and only) child shortly after 9/11/01. I spent the pregnancy beating myself up over how irresponsible it was for us to bring a child into this crazy world. Severe post-partum ensued. My terroist’s name is anxiety and he still comes knocking down the door periodically. God is with me always and it’s His strength that gets me through the tough times. Thank you, Ken, for this blog. It has helped me today.
Keri, You are welcome. Thank you for your comment.
“What fears have threatened to paralyze you?”
– I went to college to become an artist/ Illustrator but left with years to follow with heartache and slowly changing as a person of such talent. To someone who is just trying to survive the economy, therefore changing with it both economically and physically. Now in my late 30’s I am facing what seems permanent unemployment. Along with being single until Jesus returns. With the since of being misplaced in my age category in general.
“What has been helpful in conquering those fears?”
– Well, seeing and witnessing what is going on in the world. It reassures me more and more that His return is near. I confess my gratitude towards God on all that He has done and His LOVE for me. And I still hold on to the fact that I am still breathing, means Gods divine plans are yet to come.
Jeremiah 29:11(NIV). “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 33:3 NIV). “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Clark, And when he comes….. every knee shall bow. Those who have trusted him will have NOTHING to fear.
Wow. Thank you for your comment
On September 12, 2001, Jesus-believing Americans had a revival of sorts thrust upon us. We collectively filled pews and the town squares, and prayed aloud to the only One who can do anything about anything. In that respect, it was a beautiful time.
Does anyone remember the 2001 revival?
From where I sit, many have forgotten.
In everything, God allows choice. Even in 2001 we had the choice to participate in our own reviving. It was so obvious then that most chose wisely.
Can it be said that ten years later we are in a worse-off spiritual condition? I pray that is not the case…I don’t know how many more revivals this nation can bear.
Sad how quickly we forget! I think the economy has once again turned peoples hearts toward God.
amy bigest fear is not the fear of the unknow but a fear of the known. Last week I was having a down day and I realized the 3 worst parts of having a disorder that will some day take your life. I know that after I take my last breath on earth I will take my first breath in heaven. while on earth. my fears are tempered by the knowledge that I am doing what God has planned for me. the three worst things about having dementia are.
1. The isolation I feel because people are affraid of getting my disorder by association. God wants me to continue his quest to prove that this fear is unfounded.
2. the ability to remember what I could do in the past. Again God has instructed me to teach people that dementia is not a disorder in which you go to sleep one night in perfect health and wake up the next with no memory.
My fear lies with the third part of having dementia and that is: being lucid enough to realize where this disorder will take me.
I believe that God will direct me and allow me to have a full life and that he will give me the tools that I need to fulfill the purpose that he has for me. However, I still have the fear that there will be a time that I will not be able to do things for my self.
I pray that he gives me the strength to accept help from others.
The first line should start My biggest fear. not “amy bigest fear”
Roger, As you know you are already a blessing to me. Thank you for sending the pictures.
I just found your blog today about your dad and Pat R. Living with and loving someone with Alzheimers disease takes a lot of courage. I respect your dad as he obviously raised a good son. Thank you for coming out and saying people deserve respect and love until God takes them home. I believe he will answer one day for that foolish rash decision.
God bless you for this blog.