Friday, May 2, 2014

The Lazarus Experiment Day 12


What are you afraid of?

Whatever it is that brings me fear has a finger on the control switch of my life. Whatever causes us to be afraid has power over us.

“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease." Yann Martel, Life of Pi.

Awareness came to Lazarus, I think, in waves--like the strips of graveclothes being removed. The dawning of resurrection, that he was alive, followed the reinvigoration of his senses; touch first, then hearing, then smell, taste, sight. He came out of the fog in his brain, memories popping back into place, a lifetime of learning reestablishing the library of his intellect.

Put yourself in Laz's place, and imagine the process of coming back to life. Step by step, you emerge from the tomb on Jesus' command. Step by step you regain the elements of life - your breath, your heartbeat, your mind, your heart, your fears.

What about those? What would Lazarus do once he came to full awareness and remembered? All at once -- his situation, his illness, his wound, his death -- all that came rushing into his recollection. Including the fear. I should be afraid . . . Shouldn't I?

(Recollection. Interesting term. "Re-collection." Collecting again. As in, "I have a collection of fears in my life. And sometimes I lay in my bed, at 2:00 in the morning, and I collect them all again." Recollect.)

All the things that Lazarus had ever feared waited on the edges of his consciousness for his permission to enter and reclaim the power they once had. Just waiting. Just over there. All he had to do was say, "Come." And he gathered them all in, and re-collected.

We're not told what Jesus' first words to Lazarus were. Maybe he said, "Welcome back, friend," or maybe Jesus just whispered Lazarus' name in his new-claimed ear. Someday maybe we can ask Lazarus what it was Jesus said.

But I've got a guess. I think I know what Jesus would say to me, if he raised me from the dead. I think I know what I would want him to say, if I had been dead four days and then was alive again. I would want Jesus to look at me, right in the eyes, and speak.

"Ron, you have no reason to be afraid anymore."

And if Jesus spoke those words to Lazarus, what would be the proof that the words were true?
Life. New life. Life after death.

Look - once "death has been swallowed up in victory," is there anything to fear? If Enemy Number One has been put down, what else is there to be afraid of? All the fears of all of life from infancy to death are like so many dominoes, lined up across the landscape of our histories. And when Jesus screams, "Come out!" at the mouth of the tomb, all the dominoes of fear in your collection fall down, impotent and powerless.

At some point, Lazarus faced a choice: open the gate to all those Big Scary Things waiting impatiently to rush in and take control again of his life, or believe that what had just happened to him was the new reality, and allow Jesus to have the control instead.
If you've found new life in Jesus Christ, there is nothing to fear. You have a choice.
Listen. You have no reason to be afraid anymore. Time to stop the fear-collecting hobby.

Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?


Suggested Scripture For Today: Psalm 27

Suggested Ideas:
1. Make a list of things that you will be happy to not fear anymore when you're in heaven. Then identify which of those fears are worthy of your concern here on earth since you have new life in Jesus.
2. Do something that makes you scared. Public speaking, holding a spider (one as big as Rob's picture!), riding a roller coaster, what?
3. On a deck of playing cards, write with a permanent marker your fears. As you write on each card, stack it up, building a tower of fear. When it's high - take a picture to post. Then smack it all down, just as if Jesus was in the room.
4. Fill in the blank: If I wasn't afraid of anything, I would feel great about taking a risk to ____________________ . Then go do it.

It is so cool to be learning about each of you, getting to know other people around the world. As you can see, The Lazarus Experiment has assisted in making some close lifetime friendships! Be sure and interact with all of us online, and you'll make some Laz-buddies for eternity.

I really appreciate your being here,

My response to Day 12

Fear - an interesting word because I've lived in fear most of my life. And when you get rid of one fear another one seems to rear it's ugly head. And then I become afraid of fear. When I was young, I was afraid of everything - we moved to a new city when I was 8. Within months terrible things were happening to me that I couldn't tell any one. I became introverted and afraid - afraid of my body, my neighbors, my thoughts, afraid to leave my room and afraid to stay in it.

At 14 I began to build some trust and faith in myself and my future and within 8 months, I learned to fear all over again. Became afraid and distrustful of all men (or the entire male species except for my daddy), became resentful of my body, became afraid of trying new things, exploring my own talents to see just how far I could go with them, afraid to blossom and become the woman I was supposed to become. It got worse in college and despite finding a good man to marry, he also proved to me that men just can't be trusted.

I paid a lot of money to a wonderful woman for three years to discover my own strengths, talents, goodness. She taught me to become a survivor and to stand tall and proud but then I became a mom and a whole new round of fears took over. Fear of being a bad mother (though I had the most wonderful, wise and incredible mother ever),, fear of failing my children, fear of failing myself after having spent such good time learning to be good to me, fear of getting fat (I'm a career anorexic and indeed I am not a little person but I destroyed my metabolism), fear of never being a whole person because of my own fears.
When my husband died, the worst of my fears came out - my fear of being alone is huge. After losing my daddy (lost my beloved momma in 97) 18 months after my hubby then my bff this year I am more alone than ever before and more afraid than ever before.

The other fears I have are fear of never losing weight
Fear of not seeing Dalton through to adulthood.
Fear of the illnesses I can't ever be rid of
Fear of the public *though it's not a debilitating one, I am happy to stay home for ever
Fear of being alone (as in growing old in the house all alone)
Fear of being made fun of (yes - it does happen to adults)
Fear of not being able to teach my child how to really stand tall in the face of adversity and take it on with all his might.
Fear of failing God.

So there we have it....

I decided to tackle the first one immediately - I have put together a list of appropriate menus, possible affirmations to repeat (chant!) to myself when I start to be demeaning to myself, activities I can do as opposed to looking at those I can't. I have put this up in my kitchen right beside the stove and on the refrigerator. AND..... I know that the only way I'll get through this is with His help so I am calling on Him often with praises, and requests for direction and strength. Baby steps..... this was the easiest one to handle...........

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