Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What are some things you are afraid of? Some say spiders, some say snakes, others say mice. Me? I'm afraid of elephants.

When I say I am afraid of them, I want you to understand that they are my worst nightmare come true. When I was 9 years old I was traumatized by one. Long story short, something must have scared the elephant (surely he was not just an evil elephant?) we were looking at and it raised up it's front two feet onto the small fence inside the larger one and blew it's trunk out, blaring a LOUD trumpeting sound that sent me running hysterically for fear I would be trampled. Elephants, big and small, pose a problem for me....

Which poses a problem in adulthood. For a long time, I refused to visit circuses, zoo's, and places where there are elephants. I was crippled by my problem. I had made a decision that this problem (fear) would stop me from visiting some of my favorite places!

When I got married, zoo attendance was a must. I suddenly had a 6 year old bonus daughter and I had a 7.5 year old sister. What kids don't like to go to the zoo and see all the animals? (Besides me, LOL?) I had to make a decision to either be stopped by this problem or do something to circumvent it.

I had to make a choice. I chose not to let this problem with elephants cause my zoo life to come to a screeching halt. Although I still cannot go near the elephants, I grab a map and find another path around them, setting up a place to meet my family "soon". Fortunately they all understand.

The problems we face in life are much the same. They can cripple us and cause our lives to come to a screeching halt. If they do, it's by our own choosing.

We have other options. God doesn't want us to stay trapped in the problems we face. Although the problems we face may seem impossible to pass through, we can get through them.

Here are some methods that may help...

Use the map given to us by God. The Bible, His Word, is full of counsel for life's problems. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." -Psalm 119:105

Go to the Father in prayer. Prayer changes our perspective of our problems, and causes God to move in ways that we cannot. "So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer." - Ezra 8:23 "We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection." - 2 Corinthians 13:9

Obtain the counsel of trusted friends and family. You are probably not the only one who has gone through the problem you are facing, and even if it feels like you are, the counsel of godly men and women can truly help. "For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you." - Psalm 122:8 "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel." - Proverbs 27:9

Seek the treatment of a doctor if necessary. Sometimes our problems are more than we can handle on our own and require medical attention or psychological help. I had no Bible verse for this, so I'm stretching this one and using it sort of out of context, not implying the problem is a sin but implying that Jesus certainly recognized doctors as ones who could heal/help. "On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." - Matthew 9:12

Father, help us see that You are our hope in times of affliction, and have already overcome any problem we can face. I thank you so much that You will never put on us more than we can bear and pray that we seek Your will in all our problems. Thank You for Your great love, and the encouragement of Your Son..."I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

In closing, I wanted to ask you this. Suppose your worst fear is spiders. If your house was on fire and the only exit was an open window with a spider web across it, what would you do? You might not like it, but you'd sweep that web out of the way and press on through it, right?

Problems are like that. Granted, some are harder to press through than others, but if we don't press through them, we make our own choice to remain in the problem and the pain it inflicts.

In Other Words Tuesday's is a great meme! Visit http://www.karijofluffy.blogspot.com/, who is hosting today's meme, and the other's who have posted "other words" to the quote listed above.


Denise said...

You go girl, this was such a great post.

Bonnie W said...

Great Post Laurie Ann - it reminded me of a cartoon I once saw of an elephant in the livingroom. It sat politely there while everyone tripped around it, trying to ignore its presence rather than making it leave.

I'm glad you your fear by the tusks and found a solution. I can't imagine life without being able to take my grandkids to the zoo. Way to go!

Amanda B. said...

Great analogy and true words.

Joyfull said...

Loved hearing your share your fear and your triumph in the Lord. Beautiful post!

Susan said...

Hey, I'm back. Catching up on your posts.

As always, you put alot of thought, scripture and great encouragement in all you post.

This was awesome.

I'm dealing with a fear of driving on the interstate. Just since I moved. It's really been a major hinderance.

Walking in faith as I'm overcoming.

Great suggestions!!

Blessings to you♥

Dawn said...

That was a great post and one I needed to read. (If you haven't noticed I need a lot of help..hehe)

Guess guess what. My two month wait is almost over :) So please keep us in your prayers!!!

Earthmommy said...

Good for you! For a long time I was the same way about my alopecia, until i realized that I could either hide inside my house or live my life, and looking at it that way it didn't seem much of a choice.

Maisie said...

You gave a great list of biblical ways to help with problems. I'm glad that you included going to a Dr. if needed. Many Christians have this idea that all depression can be cured with just getting closer to God. But some people have a real chemical imbalance that can only be treated with medication. I lost 2 relatives to suicide, because they wouldn't go get help from a Dr.

Tami Boesiger said...

You make a lot of good, practical suggestions here, Laurie Ann. Nicely done.

And thank you for your kind comments to me. You are most appreciated.