2 Timothy 1:7

Today is my son’s birthday, so I was looking for inspiration in Timothy when I was reminded of a passage that suitably reflected my faith walk this past month.

NIV: For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

Although the version that resonated more with me was the NKJV.

NKJV: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I’m not normally a fearful person. I grew up around people who defined “fear” as “false evidence appearing real.” So I’ve come to view it as that most of my life.

When I found myself struggling a few weeks back with fear and uncertainty in my life, it reached a point of becoming overwhelming. It seemed like every aspect of my life was out of control. Chaos rained and I had no idea how to pick up the pieces yet again. Something I had worked so hard for over the past 18 months slipped through my fingers and there was nothing I could do other than be willing to start again.

Yet, the voice in my head was asking me “why bother?” The responsibilities I have became overwhelming burdens and I truly began to wonder if I would be able to pick myself up and start yet again.

In our church, during the Lenten season, we enjoy a time of fellowship together after church. We share soup and homemade breads, while watching a DVD by Ray Van Der Laan. In one episode, we were shown what a gethsemane was.

Literally it’s a millstone, essential for grinding and breaking the hard shells of olives prior to pressing them to gather their oil.

The following week’s episode talked of the crucifixion and the tomb that Jesus was laid in. Prior to going to the cross, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. In an artist’s rendition, Jesus lay prostrate on the ground as he prayed.

In a moment, the image of the millstone crushing Jesus, the sins of the world laid upon him, formed in my mind’s eye.

Rather than the oil being gathered after the olives’ pressing, when Jesus was weighted down blood poured out and spilled on the ground. And as he hung on that cross, he felt forsaken. Alone. Powerless. Abandoned.

Everything that I myself had been feeling…

And perhaps for him, like me, false evidence appeared real.

I am certain he was never forsaken. And yet he felt he was.

I know he was never alone. We’re told the guards stood watch.

Could he have been powerless? Not the Son of Man! I am certain that the Son of God could have come down off that cross if he were willing to give up on us. But he wasn’t.

Was he abandoned then? Never! God was well-pleased with him, and told us himself.

Yet he felt all of those things, false evidence appeared real, and perhaps for a time he even felt fear. In all of his humanness, it only makes sense that he did.

And as I went through my own gethsemane experience a few weeks ago, I felt more in awe of my savior than ever before. If I could have rescued myself from the situation I was in, I would have done it in a heartbeat! So crushing was the weight of the burden I was bearing…

When Jesus found himself in those circumstances, he had it within himself to rescue himself. He asked his father if there was any other way. But finding none, he went through with it. He face his fear. He faced the taunts of the crowd and the torture of the cross, for you… and for me…

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

About Tara

Tara R. Alemany is a best-selling author and speaker. Her books include “The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books,” “The Character-Based Leader,” “My Love to You Always,” “Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude,” and her latest title “The Best is Yet to Come.”

In her spare time, Tara is a recognized thought leader who runs Aleweb Social Marketing, does her best to raise her two teenagers, and serves on two Boards of Directors. She is also Chaplain of her local Word Weavers chapter, and is a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

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