Fear, Thorns, and Faith


Every time I’ve gone through a Thistlebend study, the Lord typically has some type of theme for me. As we’re coming to a close of this Heart of Woman study, I’ve been thinking of what that theme is. I have a lot of fear and I have little discipline.

Obviously this is not a full list, but I fear what others will think of me because I fear not being accepted and I fear not being liked, I fear being the weirdo or the outcast, the loner. I don’t speak truth for fear of making someone uncomfortable—myself included. I fear confrontation. With my first little one on the way, I fear I won’t love him the way that I should. I fear that my ideas of what a good Christian should look like won’t happen in my life—my identity is in my plans and ways rather than who my God is and His ways. I fear being too separated from this physical world. I fear losing my identity completely. I fear that I’m not the person I’m supposed to be, the person that I’ve concocted in my head. Truly the list could go on.

Thankfully, by the Lord’s grace, He has opened my eyes to these sins, but nothing has happened. Instead of confessing and asking the Lord for His grace to look to Him in spite of these fears and asking for His help to plant His seeds of faith, hope, and love in my heart, I have been lazy and have lacked discipline. Instead of choosing to see my fear, see my circumstance, see my feelings and turn to the Lord in spite of them, I have done nothing. Instead of choosing to look to the only One who is worthy, I have been fearful of my sin, I have been fearful of my fears. I have continued to look at self.

My husband and I listened to a sermon this morning on the Parable of the Sower from Mark chapter 4. The pastor went through each type of soil—the path, the rocky soil, the soil among thorns, and the good soil. He explained the thorny soil as people who are preoccupied. As Jesus explained each type of soil He said of the thorny soil in verses 18 and 19, “And the others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” While I know I have been given a heart with good soil, I also honestly couldn’t think of a better Scripture to describe my heart condition. I am preoccupied by this world. The pastor went on to explain that those that live in the thorny soil are comfortable with their thorns and as they go on, their thorns will multiply.

The Lord is revealing to me that while I am fearful of my sin, because I see that I cannot do this Christianity thing in my own strength, in the same regard I am comfortable with my thorns. It’s easy to be like the world. My husband always says, “Anything worth having takes hard work.” This world isn’t worth having. And I think about what we’ve read in James and what Laurie discussed in last week’s lecture about faith without works being dead. In this past week’s weekly email from our Head Abigail she said we often look at faith as the anecdote to our fear and she pointed out that while this is true there’s a reason Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13, “…but the greatest of these is love.” My obedience will stem from the root of a true love for the Lord over any of the other thorns that are among me. The Lord has had me think about Psalm 63:3 this week: “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”

I’m praising God for allowing me to see my sin through this study in a deeper way, to the roots of my heart, and honestly I’m sure they go even deeper than what He’s allowing me to see right now. Even as I finish up this post I sit here in my living room after a crying session because I realized I went to a get-together today, saw pictures of myself afterward, and automatically, my demeanor changed. I see now, after the fact, that my confidence was in myself, not in who my God is. This is a daily battle between the flesh and the Spirit, but God’s love is greater, and, Lord, please make that my focus—make that our focus. I don’t want to live among the thorns. The Lord has given me a new heart with good soil and as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3, He will provide the growth! May we all continue to press on with eternity stamped on our eyes, with His love that is better than life itself stamped on our eyes, one step at a time, one righteous fruit at a time—all by God’s amazing grace. Father, please help us.

Planted for His Glory

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.