And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. LUKE 2:9-11
Isn’t it interesting that the glory of the Lord brought about fear in the shepherds? Fear in itself is not a bad thing – it is not a sin. It is a defense mechanism that heightens our awareness and places on minds and bodies on alert.
The problem with fear is when we allow those fears to stop us – to paralyze us. The fear of rejection stops us from asking someone out. The fear of hurt stops us from loving deeply. The fear of judgment stops us from confessing our greatest temptations or sins. The fear of failure stops us from pursuing our goals.
A dear friend of mine who lost over 170 pounds on the First Place 4 Health program, appeared to all outsiders to be free from the bondage of food but the truth was she was scared. She feared that if she ever deviated from her “plan” for even a meal, she would gain all of the weight back. This did not bring great joy in her life nor allow the Savior to be all that He could be in her life. She had to face her fear – do it afraid – and have chips and salsa (just not every night.) To enjoy a dessert occasionally but not the entire pie. To trust the Power that raised her Savior from the ground and now lived in her to help her walk in freedom to food.
If you struggle with weight loss during the Christmas season, ask the Holy Spirit in you to grant you the power to make wise choices and practice self-control in every meal. Do not allow fear to stop you from going to the neighborhood Christmas party because you may eat too much or because you do not know how many calories are in each bite. Also, do not allow fear of rejection stop you from asking for prayer from others as you step out and trust Christ to be strong in your weakness. And if you make poor choices or overeat, do not allow fear of condemnation stop you from confessing that to one other trusted friend and begin again immediately.
When the glory of the Lord rises up in you and you do it afraid, His great joy will flood your soul.