What are you afraid of? Really. What are you really afraid of? The unknown maybe? Because, the unknown?.... we don't like it! The comfortableness of our uncomfortableness is (we think) more comfortable than what we don't know and haven't had time to get introduced to and comfortable with yet.
I don't like what I don't know! I like... my "known"... Even if I don't really like it... You know?
And so, we spend so much of our time, our lives, dreading a thing.... an unavoidable...... a thing that we know is coming, but we put it off.. and put it off.. and put it off.. for as long as we can possibly put it off......... all the while, still great-fully dreading it. When perhaps, it'd be easier on us (and everyone else in our sphere) if we just went ahead and did the thing that's eventually gonna happen anyway!
Let me put it mildly.... ain't no way to live!
We (my husband and I)... have been DREADING!!!!! With me being the greater dreader of the two. I've been kicking and screaming... if even that kicking and screaming has been shrouded in a sombered and saddened silence. What is it the song sings? "I'm crying inside... and nobody knows it but me...."
I googled to find a picture of "dread". Perhaps I should have been more specific, for the pictures that flooded my screen were a sea of heads with dreadlocks. I laughed. How fitting, I thought! Perfect really! For that is exactly the picture, is it not?
I've been "locked" in "dread"... and I didn't even realize that I've been dread locked! I've always LOVED dreadlocks, really; but I didn't have a clue that all along that the inside of my head (rather than the out) has been wearing them!
I think it's better spelled d.r.e.a.d.
Dread? Why? Because if you don't deal with it quickly, dread locks... and under its influence, it can hold you locked inside it for a very prolonged anguishing and agonizing time.
Shall I remind myself here... of a mighty powerfully pictured example (and a scary one too!) of some consequences to some of God's people in their "dread"?
Moses spoke to the Israelites while they were still in the desert. After 40 years they still had not yet moved into the land they were promised. He told them...
"It is only an eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea [on Canaan's border; yet Israel took forty years to get beyond it]. And in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the Israelites..... The Lord our God said to us in Horeb," [Listen to His words!] "You have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Turn and take up your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah... the land of the Canaanites,.... Behold, I have set the land before you [I have given you this land]; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them..... And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness [that vast and dreadful desert] which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, as the Lord our God commanded us, and we came to Kadesh-barnea. And I said to you, You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God gives us. Behold, the Lord you God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has said to you. Fear not, neither be dismayed. Then you all came near to me and said, Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us and bring us word again by what way we should go up and the cities into which we shall come. The thing pleased me well, and I took twelve men of you, one for each tribe. And they turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and spied it out. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the Lord our God gives us. Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God. You were peevish and discontented in your tents, and said, Because the Lord hated us, He brought us forth out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the land of the Amorites to destroy us. To what are we going up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, The people are bigger and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified to the heavens. And moreover we have seen the [giantlike] sons of the Anakim there. Then I said to you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord your God Who goes before you, He will fight for you just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, And in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God bore you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place. Yet in spite of this word you did not believe (trust, rely on, and remain steadfast to) the Lord your God, Who went in the way before you to search out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night, to show you by what way you should go, and in the cloud by day. And the Lord heard your words, and was angered and He swore, Not one of these men shall see that good land which I swore to give to your fathers, except [Joshua, of course, and] Caleb son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his children I will give the land upon which he has walked, because he has wholly followed the Lord...." - Deuteronomy 1.
An eleven day trip, ended up being a forty year one!!!
God had told them after eleven days that they had dwelt there, been there, "long enough"... ... In other words, too long!
He told them to "take up their journey" and "go"..............
But because of fear felt from a report of the land ahead of them (and after all the good that they'd been told about it!), dread set in! And because of this, and their unbelief and failure to trust God, they became forever frozen in their desert and failed to get to go into the promised land at all! The land that they truly longed for. The land that God had for them.
Oh my, may we learn to dread dread more than the whatever thing that we've been consumed with and thus dreading! Oh my, at what dread can cost us!!! Our dread just may keep us from God's plan and all that He's purposed for us! It's been "long enough"!.... It's been too long! Let's take up our journeys and GO wherever it is that we're supposed to!
I'll end with this [as I hear God remind ME!]: "The LORD is my Light and my Salvation -- whom" [and sometimes maybe "what"?] "shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life -- of whom" [of what?] "shall I be afraid?" ~ Psalm 27:1
And then, I've just had a friend that I've never met remind me of this: "Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." ~ Isaiah 43:18-19.
(Big smile!!) What a timely reminder! Dread, get thee behind me!!!