Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: Using Fear to Prompt Purchases
By Laurie Staples
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Every time an angel appeared with a message for someone, the angel's first words were inevitably "fear not." Understandably! If an angelic being suddenly appeared in front of me, I doubt a "fear not" would be enough to stop the screaming.
God knew what scaredy-cats we were going to be and how fear would be used to immobilize us and make us buy all sorts of things we don't need.
About 30 some years ago I was walking through the "aisles of beauty" at Macy's. The Estee Lauder counter had some kind of machine you could look into to that supposedly revealed what you'd look like in 25 years. I couldn't resist looking into it and was justifiably horrified at the image looking back at me. Though it was frightening, it didn't scare me enough to stay out of the sun (or buy the age defying product they were hawking). Consequently, the multi-spotted, severely sleep deprived image I saw that day is pretty much what I see in the mirror today.
There are literally hundreds of phobias. I used to question the very faith of those who are afraid of flying. To be fair, most would say it's not the flying they are afraid of but rather the crashing. Don't these people realize they're not in control? That when their time comes it doesn't really matter where they are, or how they chose to get there?
But when I think of my own irrational fears--my fear of mice is way beyond the pale-- I humbly realize all of our fears involve some degree of faithlessness.
In spite of all God's assurances, I still experience anxiety attacks and needlessly worry and fret about things I have zero control over. Another oft repeated command tells us what to set our hearts and minds on, and it isn't on this present, flawed world--it's on Him.
The crux of my anxiety stems from looking at my future without Him in it, which is obviously impossible. Jesus' last words before he descended back into Heaven were that He would never leave us or forsake us...even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
One of my mom's most oft repeated phrases was, "The Lord knows all about it." It's only now that I recognize how truly profound and comforting those words are. When anxious thoughts start to overwhelm me, I whisper my mom's words back to myself and it’s almost like she’s still her here with me, reminding me I'm never alone--I can fearlessly rest in His everlasting arms.
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