Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Right Kind of Fear - In the Face of Cancer, and Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Lost, But Found a Hidden Creek

I got lost on my morning bikeride looking for Caribou Coffee. That's okay. It was a beautiful morning, and I discovered a little creek hidden alongside a secluded path I had never seen before. It's in the picture above, right behind my shoulder. What a happy surprise! Mapquest helped me find the Caribou Coffee.

I biked home and headed off immediately to kayak. I know. Rest isn't really in my vocabulary. Also, I only have a week till my surgery, and then radiation. I need to cram in as much fun as I can since I don't know if I will be able to do much with my summer and those fun medical interventions.

Besides, truth be told, I am afraid of my upcoming ordeals. If I stay active in places of beauty and peace, the fear subsides.

I unloaded my kayak at the Catawba riverside park, and was wheeling it on its little cart to the river. A couple of women passed me and one said, "Don't get wet. There's flesh eating bacteria in there."

I thought she was referring to the brain-eating amoeba, which recently killed a girl who was rafting at the nearby Whitewater Center. I knew the amoeba could only reach the brain by being sucked in through the nose. I was in no danger since all I would do was  step into the water.

"I won't snort the water," I promised.
"No, not the amoeba," the lady said, "Flesh eating bacteria. Some kids that were swimming right there..." She pointed to the exact point where I launch my kayak. "...came down with rashes, and were quarantined. It was in the news, though I haven't heard updates. They said it was flesh-eating bacteria."

I had NOT heart about this. I decided since I had other bodies of water I could kayak in, I would instead drive a half hour to Lake Wylie. As far as I know, no flesh-eating bacteria have been reported there.

I thanked the ladies, and drove to Lake Wylie. I was glad I did. It was relatively calm for a Saturday without too many noisy motorboats, and the water felt wonderful. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have options. Brave flesh eating bacteria or forgo one of my favorite activities on earth?

Sitting in Lake Wylie avoiding Flesh-Eating Bacteria

There are a lot of dangers in the world. The miracle is that most of us do survive through adulthood.
It would be very easy to succumb to fear. There really are a bizarre number of things to be afraid of. Fear could quickly become the motivator for all our activity, and I suspect would reduce our lives to nothing.

The Bible warns us that we who love God should not fear. If we trust Him, we have nothing to fear. This does not mean we should abandon common sense, but a life spent huddled in our closet because so many things out there can kill us is not a life.

Listen to what the Bible says about fear:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, Isaiah 41:10

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.1 John 4:18

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me Psalm 23:4

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom... Psalm 111:10

The message is clear. We should fear nothing on earth. We are only to fear the One who controls all things. He who directs the universe directs our paths. He alone should be the object of fear, since our future is in His hands. A holy fear should direct us to follow, cling to, and obey Him, not to avoid catastrophe, but because of the immensity of our love for Him and understanding of His love for us.
This is wisdom, and ironically, this type of fear leads to life. Eternal life.

There are no flesh-eating bacteria in heaven.

Psalm 23:1-6

A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ...

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

1 comment:

  1. 'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved... how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!