A few years ago I went through a period of time when an unrealistic fear took hold of me. It concerned driving the car. I would walk out the door with the intent of getting in the car to go somewhere when all of a sudden a terrifying thought of “I’ll have a crash” lodged itself in my mind. I couldn’t shake the thought. There were even occasions when the fear was so strong that I went back into the house and abandoned the idea of driving that day.
I knew the fear was unfounded and unrealistic. I gave myself a good sound talking to and I prayed much. Still, the fear had a great hold on me. It definitely wasn’t one of those, what I call ‘God warnings’ when you know the Holy Spirit is speaking into your heart. Those warnings or directions from God, no matter the situation, are always filled with His very own peace.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I Timothy 1:7 NKJV
This was definitely an unrealistic fear and didn’t come from God but no matter the sincerity of my prayers, I couldn’t seem to be free of this fear. Therefore, as the days grew into weeks, I found excuse after excuse not to drive the car.
During this time a dear friend happened to come see me. Whenever we are both in town at the same time we like to get together for what we have come to affectionately call our “tea chats”. I always look forward to those tea chats because I know it will be a time of great fellowship when our hearts will share thoughts and musings upon the things of God. Sometimes we laugh together and sometimes we cry together but all the time God is in our midst.
It was during this time of crazy fear with driving the car that my tea chat friend came for a visit. I told her about the fear that was choking peace out of me. I told her honestly that all my prayers hadn’t lifted the fear at all. She listened and then suggested, “Why don’t you picture Jesus sitting on your bonnet?” (For my American friends, a “bonnet” is not a type of headwear, it is in fact, to a Brit, the hood of the car. A “hood” to a Brit is a type of headwear….isn’t language fun?) I liked that idea very much and indeed when the dreaded fear of having a car crash would invade my otherwise peaceful world I pictured Jesus sitting on the bonnet of my car. The difference in my feelings were immediate.
In recent weeks I have begun reading again through the book of Genesis. As I started the first chapter it was verses 2-4 that quickly drew my attention.
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” NKJV
As I was reading, it dawned on me the fact that God said of Himself in Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord and I do not change.” NKJV
Excitedly I pondered, since God is a God who does not change, that means He is still saying today, “Let there be light” into our darkened world. He is still dividing the light from the darkness. He hasn’t changed in that at all. He is constantly seeing the dark places of our world that scares us; He speaks into those situations and says to the darkness in our soul, “Let there be light.” It has to be the light of His own creative joy that dispels the darkness of our own otherwise scary world.
Perhaps it’s akin to ‘Jesus sitting on the bonnet.’ That image dispelled my fears in driving and feeling fearful I would have a crash. Why? Was it simply the image of Jesus on the bonnet? I believe I’m realizing even now it’s more to do with the fact that, as it says in I John 1:5, “…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Jesus was sitting on my bonnet; therefore, light was sitting on my bonnet, dispelling the darkness of my fears.
To each one reading this, I pray that in the days and weeks to come, as this world hurls fears our way, may we all remember….our God changes not; He is still sending light to dispel the darkness.