{What it means to FEAR HIM}

Fear has always chased me and won.   It clamors at me through perfectionism and anxiety to the point that my reflex response to life is to fear it.   I’m certain it is the crux of my depression. Even so, it was some kind of miraculous act of God that brought me Tom to share my life.  For in my human response I would never, not in a million years, have been bold enough to commit to my frail heart to love or marriage. God intended this and somehow intervened in my heart. If it were up to me I would still, today be very alone.

Each intake of breath and out is accompanied by anxious thoughts.  I have to daily surrender it to God. Even today, it chases me as I run for exercise trying to get this sorry 45 year old body in shape.  Each step chased my anxiety. 

I am one who craves routine — what can be expected, anticipated and known. I find spontaneity amusing, but not quite enjoyable.  My father went on uncontrollable, inexplicable rages.  It had no logical connection to our day-to-day life as far as I could ascertain.  He was often exploding or riding one until she gave up on whatever it was that she wanted.

The result is that she lets go of her own passions, and purpose and understanding of the world and her life.—her own call and purpose, her own dreams,

That was my mother I watched as her imaginings were crushed. Her life turned into a frightening nightmare. And in small ways that story became my own legacy.

I felt crushed like a bug, only to come back to life over and over again in the same home, with the same father.  Stuck in a hell of his making, afraid of living, afraid of people, afraid of risk, afraid of my own thoughts and ideas.  Afraid to make a life of my own.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.” — Psalm 34:7

The command to FEAR HIM strikes something deep in me, the humming chord that is more than a little bit beautiful, and yet  there is a lot that I don’t understand about it. This kind of fear is confusing to me.  Knowing that  God deserves my fear, but it is not because he intends

to crush me

or to humiliate me

or destroy my soul. 

He intends me to fear him in order to be set free! {This requires trust.}

I once told an erratic and fickle boyfriend “Treat me well, or treat me poorly I don’t care. Just be steady! My father is never consistent or predictable.”  I just couldn’t stand the bitter torture of his inconsistency.

And so, I am setting out on a journey to understand my own fears and more importantly to discover THIS GOD WHO PROMISES so much to those who “fear him.”

If there is anything that you know, that you have learned ,of this HOLY FEAR, I would love to hear from you—books, Bible study resources, scriptures, poetry, preacher’s sermons or personal experience.

What does it mean to FEAR God?


I am honored to have some of my poems included with a collection of essays in the book Not Afraid which is scheduled to come out in August, 2012.

2 thoughts on “{What it means to FEAR HIM}

  1. A few thoughts…
    Fear twisted me for many years too, in spite of my faith in a loving, present God. Perhaps that was because deep down I did not believe Him, and did thus did not fear Him.

    I like your emphasis on ‘holy fear’…it seems to me that fearing a holy, all-powerful and all-loving being is very different than being gripped by a fear of lesser beings.

    When I think of the word ‘holy’, I think pure, I think whole. The holy fear that God inspires in me is like awe– an awe at what He is capable of doing. But that power is bound inseparably with His love. The things and the people I feared were not loving, they were not holy, they were not pure.

    What began to free me from my deep unholy fears is the daily experience of claiming that I am God’s beloved daughter. “See how much the Father loves us that we are called the children of God. And that is what we are.” To know this down in the roots of my being crowds out the unholy fear.


Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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