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Have you ever become so fearful of nearly everything that your life seems to be under a dark cloud of worry and despair? That has been me this past week! How do you stop that thief, the enemy of all Christians, from stealing your joy when you fear everything?
Stealing Your Joy With Fear
We just closed on our new house and I was SO excited! I could not wait to move in and start planning our new homestead! We would have chickens and goats and my kids want this lamb named “Dwight” from the Agricultural program my daughter is in at school! But as soon as we moved in, fear set in.
I realized the electrical issues that the former homeowner was supposed to fix (and did) from the inspection were not the only issues. Our inspector missed some outlets that needed to be updated. There were outlets that would just die on us because a wire was disconnected. We had to have an electrician come in on a Sunday to fix it and he was nice enough to inspect the house and let us know what needs to be done.
Fear of Fire
I have a couple of things I insist on with any place we live. It has to be safe and it has to be free from pests. I have a fear of house fires. I have had people I know die in house fires or lose their homes to house fires so I have become ever so aware of the danger.
So when I hear I live in a house, a house built in 1880, that has electrical issues it makes me VERY anxious. I hear electrical (and nothing we have going on is major or poses any real immediate danger…just needs some updating which will be done in a few weeks) my anxiety kicks into HIGH gear.
So my husband helped alleviate some of my fears by putting in smoke detectors and CO detectors all over the house, including ones that communicate with each other so if one goes off, it sets off the others. Great if you have multiple levels in your home.
We also looked over the 2nd floor and identified ways to escape in a fire and we also have fire ladders. Fortunately our bedroom window is over the roof of our mudroom so we could easily slip out onto that and then jump down to the ground. The kids’ room has the same roof so it is an easy out for them as well.
It is always good to have a plan in advance, especially when there are kids! We also literally live next door to the volunteer fire department so there’s that! I’m a safety girl!
Fear of Pests
I also have a fear of rodents and certain insects. I don’t mind them outside, but in the house is an issue. It is not so much the rodent itself as it is the diseases they carry and the damage they do.
I will be the first to play with a pet mouse or rat. So it is all about the harm they cause as household pests. So when the former homeowner stopped in to help show Dave how to work the generator, I asked about any rodent issues and his answer was “Oh yeah, I trap them all the time! I put traps down and get them all the time!”
What??? Our inspector (again) told us that there were only a “few” droppings in the basement and that was likely because there was a gap in the bulkhead door so if we seal that up we should be good. Sensing my anxiety at his statement, the former homeowner quickly said “NEVER up here! Only in the basement! I have never had any up here.”
Whew! May have wanted to lead with that one dude!
We employ pest control anyway so they will take care of any issues and Dave has since sealed the bulkhead door, but yet every night I fear one of the furry things will run through the house even though the former homeowners had this house for 17 years…never upstairs! I fear it because the last house we were in, we had several.
So I have a sort of rodent PTSD if you will! Thank the Lord for Orkin!
The Enemy is Stealing Your Joy – For Fear That…
I should have had such joy at having our new home, and that joy was lost for fear that…
For fear that we would have a fire!
For fear that we would have pests!
Fear that something major would go wrong and we wouldn’t be able to afford it!
For fear that Dave would have to go away for work and something would happen while he’s gone and I would have no one here to help me!
For fear that the house isn’t stable enough (we do need to add supports to the basement because of the house’s age)
Fear! It was all fear! And it was robbing me of enjoying anything about the house!
Stop that Thief From Stealing Your Joy!
While I was worrying about all these “could happens“, which honestly could happen to anyone regardless of the age of the house, I was allowing the thief to come in and steal, kill and destroy any joy I had about finally having my little mini-farm!
I wanted this my entire life! I wanted to raise chickens and goats and have my little homestead where I would bake bread and do canning! And I have it! I finally have it! But the enemy, even while I physically sit on the very land and in the very house, has kept me from emotionally moving into it.
My body is here, but my mind and my heart haven’t felt comfortable enough to move in!
I was worried about stopping thieves from breaking into my home and stealing from me so I put in a security system. But yet I wasn’t paying attention to the thief I REALLY had to keep out of my home.
I needed to stop that thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy!
Have Life and Have It Abundantly
John 10:10 says:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” ESV
Jesus came so I could have life and have it ABUNDANTLY!
I was living but I wasn’t having life! I was surviving but I wasn’t living life!
I was definitely not having it abundantly.
I have been breathing in and breathing out but I have not been living. My existence has been more like someone in prison.
They live! They get up each day and eat, do their activities, sleep. But they are not living abundantly. They are existing.
And the enemy had me in a prison of my own design. I planned it and he constructed it. He took every fear as a foundation and took every past hurt as a floor-plan.
A prison designed just for me.
And he has designed one for you, stealing your joy with every fear he uses as a foundation.
Stop that thief from stealing your joy and your peace! Stop him from putting you in that prison!
And the enemy had me in a prison of my own design. I planned it and he constructed it. He took every fear as a foundation and took every past hurt as a floorplan. A prison designed just for me.
The thief was free but the child of God was imprisoned! Isaiah 41:10 says
“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ESV
Fear not for He is with me! But what stood out to me were these words…
“be not dismayed, for I am your God”
The Hebrew word for dismayed here is sha’ah and it means, according to Strong’s Concordance:
To look at, regard, gaze at, behold!
But it also means:
To look away, to cause your gaze to turn away!
I was taking my eyes off God and who He is and who I am IN Him. I was turning my gaze from Him and looking at my circumstances and looking at the potential for harm.
I wasn’t looking at the blessing. I had turned from that and looked at what the enemy was showing me COULD happen. And in doing that, I wasn’t living abundantly in the blessing God gave me.
Stop Him From Stealing Your Joy By Turning Your Gaze
God is with you. We sometimes lose sight of that because we turn our gaze.
The enemy gently, so we don’t notice, takes you by the chin and turns your head to look at what he wants you to focus on.
He has done that to me since the day we moved into this house.
I am turning my gaze back. I am now determined to stop that thief and focus my gaze on the One who holds the world in His hands.
I am his daughter! I am beloved and the King has me in His sights.
He never turns his gaze from me. He never takes His eyes off of me.
God is with you. We sometimes lose sight of that because we turn our gaze. The enemy gently, so we don’t notice, takes you by the chin and turns your head to look at what he wants you to focus on.
Do you have an old, historic house that sort of made you fearful when you first moved in? I would love to hear about how you conquered those fears and stopped the enemy from stealing your joy, and I would love to hear about your house!!
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved