Aren’t you glad those two words “hysterical fears” were in quotes, that they were said by Elisabeth Elliot, that woman who seemed to rise above and laugh at fear? Apparently not. And I am glad about this.
“When the awful picture of the thing you’re so worried about returns to your consciousness, confront that thing with God. Lift it up into His Presence. Ask Him to help you see it as He sees it. Contemplate it in the light of your eternal destiny. This will keep things in proportion, I find. And it prevents my giving way to hysterical fears.
I am seeing so many of your faces as I write this: real fears about prodigals, some not yet feeding the pigs but looking that way and beginning to entertain the thought…facing the fact that in the coming week a judge will rule how often you can see your grandchild, due to divorce for your child? others married and fearfully wondering if boredom can kill one in the late stages of marriage, terrified of being in this same position for the rest of ones life……children in early adulthood that may not be able to EVER realize their good, good dreams of marriage and children…heartbreak for parents, fears of not being able to handle the results of that test the Dr. gave you, O fears everywhere one looks in this seemingly out of control world.
This little formula of E.E’s works. I have tried it.. Here it is, simple really. Aren’t you GLAD it doesn’t include simply “just don’t fear”?
Steps when fear begins to take over:
1) Name it. Take that exact picture of what you’re worried about to God. Dump on Him all your fears about this.
2) Ask God to help you see it as He sees it. Listen to what He says. Write out what He says. Read it when you find yourself back to near hysterical about it. (you will, you know – so do write it out, really – an index card carried in your pocket works great). In fact, if any of you want to send me your fear verses that help you see this as God sees it, I will compile them from everyone and send them back.
3) Contemplate it in the light of your eternal destiny. I have to say that this one is always where the relief comes in for me – and makes heaven so much nearer, which is Biblical, by the way…