Hi friends. Today I’m delighted to be welcoming Nancy Kay Grace to my blog. She is a speaker & author from Arkansas, in the US, who has been in ministry over 40 years. Nancy has contributed to several anthology books, and has recently launched her new book, ‘The Grace Impact’. Grace is one of the things I’m most passionate about, and today Nancy shares more about this with us:
The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27:1)
Fears can grip and paralyse us, becoming larger than reality. When faced with fears, we have a choice: to look at the fear and let it grow larger or focus on the Lord in deeper trust. When we trust the Lord in fearful situations we grow in understanding His grace. In the below abridged segment from The Grace Impact, we are encouraged to look to the Lord to press out our fears:
Driving on paved, unmarked, two-lane country roads is pleasant on a sunny afternoon, but becomes a fearful situation when navigating it late at night in a thunderstorm. Even a short drive requires more concentration because of the steep ditches flanking either side of the road with little or no shoulder. For this reason, I try to avoid driving in those conditions.
One night I headed to a meeting held at a home far out in the countryside. Because my husband was out of town, I had to take our two preschool-aged children with me. They would have other children to play with while I attended the meeting. After it finished, I stayed a bit longer, chatting with friends. Although I thought I could easily navigate my way home, I soon found out otherwise.
A heavy thunderstorm rolled across the area, pelting the farmland with rain and filling ditches with water. Lighting flashed through the black night. Thick fog blanketed the countryside.
When the rain let up I dashed to the car with my kids and buckled them in their car seats. I left the muddy driveway to head home but made a critical mistake by turning the wrong way onto the paved county road. Fog eerily hung over the signposts erasing the road names. No matter what direction I turned, everything looked the same — pitch black, gray fog, with flashes of lightning in the distance.
The two-lane country road, bordered by water-filled ditches and endless flat countryside, was visible only a few feet in front of me. I hoped I was in the center of the asphalt because I could not see any highway markings or lights. I turned around to go back and start over, but became even more confused in the heavy mist. The swishing windshield wipers beat with an eerie rhythm.
My white knuckles gripped and re-gripped the steering wheel as fears rose within me. Would I hit another vehicle or drive off the road into a ditch? Would I find my way home? I slowly drove through unknown territory. The heavy fog intensified my distress.
The visibility improved a bit. I went forward cautiously, trusting and praying. Finally a few discernible road signs guided me through the dark countryside. It took twice as long to get home that night, but by the grace of God I eventually made it. I tucked my kids in bed and collapsed on my bed with a sigh of relief and a prayer of thanks. Even in the comfort of my own home, it took a while to calm down enough to go to sleep.
Focus From The Fear
Often when we leave our comfort zones, by choice or by circumstance, we find ourselves wrapped in fear. On that perilous drive in the fog, it was hard to see, easy to lose my way, and downright scary. Fears do that to us. They make the truth of a situation hard to see, causing us to lose our way, creating improbable scenes in our minds.
When we redirect our focus from fear to trusting the Lord and His Word, the Lord moves us forward instead into faith instead of stepping backward into fear. The verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 offers us courage. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
We are promised a spirit of dynamic power to proceed when we would rather withdraw, a spirit of selfless love that overcomes our fear (1 John 4:18), and self-discipline that has the sensibility and moderation of self-control — a fruit of the Spirit. Power from God, love, and self-discipline are extended to us through God’s grace, helping us press out fears and empowering us to go forward.
When faced with the option of fear or trust, choose to press in to the Lord…press out fears…then you can press on.
Nancy Kay Grace is speaker and author who is captivated by God’s grace and loves to share about embracing it in everyday life. She has contributed stories to several anthologies and published magazine articles.Nancy’s devotional/ Bible study study book, ‘The Grace Impact’, is out now.
Nancy is married to her best friend, Rick, who is a senior pastor in northwest Arkansas, United States. They have served the Lord for more that forty years all over the world. To learn more about her ministry, find out more about her new book and sign up for an online Bible study using ‘The Grace Impact’, sign up for her GraceNotes newsletter at: http://www.nancykaygrace.com.
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(Picture Sources: Online Source/Nancy Kay Grace)
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