Thursday, November 08, 2012

Jesus Christ, Courage Coach

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

I read an article about overcoming fear recently and was surprised that it included suggestions from a "courage coach. " I kid you not. This coach helps people develop strategies for addressing the fight or flight response with healthier alternatives. Hey, if it gets you through the night, or around the spiders, or past the boss, why not?

The article points out that First Responders, pilots, others in potentially high stress professions, practice or rehearse the situations they may find themselves in to overcome anxiety. Do you think that coming together for worship and seeking God's strength is our practice session? There are scores of biblical references to fear and the strength we receive from God to overcome it.

It also occurred to me that Jesus is my Courage Coach. He is the one who tells me that perfect love casts out fear. Jesus reached out to Peter when the disciple began to sink into the waters of Galilee. Jesus is the one who wrestled with his deepest fears in the darkness of Gethsemane and found the courage to be true to his mission.

Do you have fears, reasonable or irrational? How do you overcome them? Is God part of the equation for your courage?


Lynnof60 said...

I am not generally a fearful person. Having said that you won't find me going into the basement when that scary music is playing! A number of years ago I had an almost paralyzing fear of flying. I actually flew to New Zealand during that time and am pretty sure I shortened my lifespan by a few years as that is a very long time to have your body in a state of terror. I wish I was exaggerating.
My desire to travel just slightly outweighed fear ci knew I had to do something. It was so simple. I started to recite the serenity prayer "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change........" I didn't just recite it, I believed it. I can actually fall asleep before takeoff now.

IanD said...

'Day at a time' works for me during peak periods ...

roger said...

I try to distract myself as much as possible by surrounding myself with family and friends. I also immerse myself in my hobbies, and often look for new things to try or learn.

I do find comfort in prayer.

Stacey said...

All of these comments are helping me. I don't think I am generally a fearful person over everyday events, but I have a lot of anxieties. My blind terror fear hits me when my body is at rest and my mind can finally wander to the bigger picture stuff of life. If I don't catch it in time, fear can grip me when pondering the unknowns in my family's future. I am always looking for ways to help find the calm place. One word that I always cling to is "Better". It's a goal I can work towards that gives me a sense of power. I think it's time I used prayer. Imagining Lynn asleep on the plane may now forever be the image in my head when I try it though.. :)

Anonymous said...

I have used that prayer as well Lynn. I don't know if I will ever be on a plane again, but that prayer has helped me navigate fears such as the ones Stacey describes - those related to the future of loved ones. In times of deep worry I pray constantly. I stop what I am doing, and spend a few quiet moments trying to listen. These days of constant prayer aren't getting any fewer, just more bearable.

Laura said...

I dont feel like an overly fearful person but recognize that so many conflicts, hangups, insecurities as individuals, but also collectively, are rooted in fear so when I saw a book by Rabbi Kushner on fear on the Chapters sale shelf, I picked it up. I haven't finished it yet but am intrigued that early on he hypothesizes that " Fear Not" should really be the 11th Commandment.
We talked about fear at Halloween in our two younger youth groups. They observed that scary things, like haunted houses, were less scary with a friend.....hmmm
Fear seems to be cultivated today.....I am ever grateful
for a sense of having a Divine Courage coach....who is on call 24/7 and doesn't charge by the hour (or prayer).

David Mundy said...

Ruth and I both appreciated these thoughtful responses(I force her to read my blog from time to time.)

Thanks everyone.