Fear, Frogs, and Freedom

I had a dream a few years ago. I was in my Grandma’s house and I went to use the bathroom.  When I looked into the toilet, the water was clear and there was a tiny frog in the water. I quickly ran down to the kitchen and told my mom I was going to the hospital.

I arrived at Kohl’s and found two Pentecostal looking women outside the store.  They were dressed in long skirts and I knew they were Pentecostal from their appearance. When I entered the store, I passed a bedroom display in the store. I passed that to go directly to an area that looked like a hospital X-Ray room.  It had a big X-ray machine.  The technician there said, “This is what is going to tell us how much fear you have.”

When I looked at the X-rays, I could not believe what was before my eyes.  There were several frogs in size order.  From tiny to large. I looked at the X-Ray in disbelief and asked how they all got in there.

Ready for this?  I began to pull the frogs out as if I was giving birth.  I kept digging in and pulling them out.  The first one was red with black spots on it.  It was poisonous.  The others came out. Some in pieces. I reached in desperately trying to get them out. When I looked up, I saw a gentleman dressed in a white jacket.  He was leaning against the wall. I knew it was Jesus.  He had a file folder in his arms against his chest.  With the sweetest smile on his face, he said, “Let the Holy Spirit do the work.”

I woke up crying.  It still makes me teary-eyed sometimes when I think of the gentle smile and response he had toward something that seemed so stressful to me. I grew up with so many fears. Some of it was learned behavior from a mother and grandmother who escaped a communist country.  It was also the product of growing up in a domestic violent home.  Let’s just say I grew up with a lot of drama. Maybe I’ll save that for another blog.  I read somewhere that the meaning of “Kohl” is inner strength to keep going, and I believe that’s what it represented in my dream.

Look what happened in the beginning. In Genesis 3:10 (NIV):

He (Adam) answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

The product of sin is fear and a mindset of being separated from God. Adam hid. Not God. In believing the lies that are produced in fear, we separate ourselves from the truth–from God and from his love for us. Not because he hides himself from us but simply because we hide ourselves from him. Fear has that effect on us.  We fear punishment and rejection. But the more we grow in knowing God’s perfect love for us, the less room there is for fear.

In my dream, there was so much work, effort, frustration and stress in trying to get rid of fears on my own. One of the most comforting things for me was discovering the truth that the battle of fear has already been won. And the Holy Spirit has done and can do what I alone can’t.

2 Corinthians 4:7

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

1 John 4:17-19 (NKJV)
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him[b] because He first loved us.

The good news is, there’s an ear in fear. And I believe that with every temptation to fear, there is a loving Savior with a peaceful answer longing to embrace us. There’s the voice of a gentle and loving Savior saying, “Let the Holy Spirit do the work.” The voice of God will always be a voice that brings peace and calls us to himself.  If what you are hearing in your thoughts produces fear and torment, it’s not from a loving heavenly Father.

May the prayer of our hearts today be, “Lord, help. Help me to realize that whatever I’m dealing with, you’ve already conquered through Jesus. I receive your love for me.  Where your spirit is, there is freedom.  Thank you for setting me free. Help me to hear your voice and recognize it. Help me to run to it and not from it. Help me to know and experience your love in new ways today and for the rest of my life with a desire to live and without the fear of judgment. Help me to embrace you and love you in response to your love for me. Because nothing can separate me from your love.”