I’m taking a poll here, how does the statement “fear of any form of conflict” affect you? Do you fit into this category, or do you despise this phobia and its implications? How many people do you know who have this?
I guess we all suffer from this affliction to some extent, but I am thinking of individuals who live in this state their entire lives, never knowing that they are one-conflict-farther-away-from-no-more-fear than they need to be.
How many of us think that we will have a better life if we have no conflict, or imagine that we’re not strong enough to ride the waves that will get us to that infamous shore?
I know that I have felt like that. What if I let me true feelings be known, and rather than being respected, they are treated in such a way as to communicate that they mean nothing?
Another thing I don’t like the thought of is becoming the object of discussion so that everyone will have a chance to point out everything that’s wrong about me.
There is so much that could be gained from being open and honest, but how badly will I be cut up? It may be the only way, but if I have to die to do it, maybe I would rather live with a little less.
In many cases these are not unfounded fears. Yet, it is a shame that we stick to our impulses on this one. We may not feel strong, but could we become more able and secure than we are?
Consider for a moment the implications made in these verses from Isaiah 65:17:
[ New Heavens and a New Earth ] “Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth. All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten. Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating: I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight. I’ll take joy in Jerusalem, take delight in my people: No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries of anguish; No more babies dying in the cradle, or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime; One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal— anything less will seem like a cheat. They’ll build houses and move in. They’ll plant fields and eat what they grow. No more building a house that some outsider takes over, No more planting fields that some enemy confiscates, For my people will be as long-lived as trees, my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work. They won’t work and have nothing come of it, they won’t have children snatched out from under them. For they themselves are plantings blessed by God, with their children and grandchildren likewise God-blessed. Before they call out, I’ll answer. Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard. Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow, lion and ox eat straw from the same trough, but snakes—they’ll get a diet of dirt! Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill anywhere on my Holy Mountain,” says God.
If our God can do this, can He not enable us to grow strong and steady; able to face every wind that comes our way with confidence and integrity, knowing that He supplies everything our lives depend on to stand and endure?