Fear or faith

Brenda Cannon Henley“Both faith and fear demand you believe in something you cannot see. You choose.”
By Brenda Cannon Henley
Happy Christians live their lives by faith. Worried or anxious Christians fret their lives away in uncertainty and fear. Neither force can be seen by the human eye, but both are very powerful and help to contribute joy and peace or unrest, anxiety, and a sense of panic.

An illustration from childhood comes to my mind after all these years. My family was close friends with another family that shared an average middle class, hard working financial standard and often came together at local events and church gatherings. The mother of the second family perhaps holds the title (to this day) as the most worried person I know. She is well into her 80s and has lived a long life, but still worries and frets over so many things.

She worried back in the day about illnesses that might affect her family and especially her children. They were so bundled up in cool weather that they could hardly run and play. Their noses and eyes were wiped until they looked as though they might bleed. Eating was an exercise in cleanliness and protective measures many years before hand sanitizers and masks were suggested.

Travel was worthy of awards as medicines that might be needed, clothing for warm, cool, hot, and frigid weather selected and packed. God forbid a thunderstorm might be mentioned. The woman was petrified of lightening and thunder. At the first loud clap or a zigzagged line appeared in the sky, her children stopped what they were doing and ran to one of the bedrooms where they quickly scampered under the bed where they had to stay until the storm passed.

Let me hasten to add here that my mother and stepfather could have used a bit more of her caution and kindness and protection for our clan. We were pretty much on our own. We were survivors and learned to take care of our needs.

Life in that household balanced on teetering legs of fear and worry. As the years passed, additional reasons to worry were added to her list including, but not limited to, war, growing health matters, safety in the home, auto travel, finances, and much later, surviving retirement and aging. Oh, and everyone’s relationships.

The woman had a good heart, but her life was bound in worry and fear. And everyone in the family had to deal with the abundance of caution.

God wants his children to live by faith. The best definition, other than pure Scripture concerning faith to me is Forsaking All, I Trust Him.

I had the blessing of hosting Mitch Albom, author and ESPN sports commentator, a few years ago while he was in Beaumont for a speaking engagement. During the afternoon before he spoke at the Julie Roger’s Theater, he signed over 700 copies of his then current book. You may remember Mitch for Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, as well as many other books now. He was working on his book about faith at the time and we talked about that subject most of the afternoon and early evening. He had it right. I might add that when he took the stage, he was a mesmerizing speaker.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7) Although Verse 7 gets a lot of attention, I think Verse 6 might get overlooked a bit. Here, young Timothy is advised to “stir up the gift of God which is in you.” He is also taught to “bring to remembrance” the things of God in his life. When Satan attacks and pushes the spirit of fear, we are to fight back by faith remembering what God has given us, what he has done in the past, and the fact that we must choose between faith or fear. He wants us to choose wisely so that we can live happy, victorious lives no matter what the world is doing or projecting.

You choose – Faith or fear.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or
[email protected]


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