Over the past twelve months, my chaplain’s columns have been looking at real fears that have been shared personally with me.
We’ve talked about
- The fear of divisiveness in our country
- The fear of never doing enough
- The fear of being stuck in a box called marriage
- The fear of being failures as parents
- The fear of the dark night of the soul
- The fear of the unknown future
- The fear that God really does exist
- The fear of a nation of extremes
This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but maybe you have been inspired to name some of your own fears.
One of the best ways to break the power of fear in our lives is to name our fears.
Jason Lengstorf suggests that naming our fears is like shining a light into the “monster-shaped shadows” of our life:
“In an effort to limit the number of monsters occupying my headspace, I try to push my fears into reality and name them.”
We can see this same approach to monsters-in-the-shadows when we read the Gospel of Mark in the Bible. When Jesus met a guy who was full of monsters, Jesus had one question for him, “What is your name?”
The monsters replied,
“Legion, for we are many!”
Naming the monsters was the first step toward Jesus bringing healing for this person. Do you have time for one more story about naming the monsters in our lives?
This story comes from the Old Testament, Genesis 32. Jacob is in a wrestling match with God and is actually holding his own until God asks him the question: "What is your name?”
When he responds, “My name is Jacob," he realizes that God is not asking for his identity... but his character.
“Jacob” literally means
In this watershed-naming moment, Jacob names and confesses his character flaw instead of hiding it. And it is after the confession that Jacob receives God’s healing and blessing.
How many monsters are lurking in your shadows these days?
Can you name them?
I invite you to use this form to share your prayer request with me.