Don’t yield to fear, or be troubled

I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!

John 14:27 TPT

The definition of yield in this context is this: to give way to arguments, demands, or pressure.

The thing that I’ve learned about fear in my thirty five years on the planet is that it’s a bully. And the voice of fear is pretty loud right about now.
The world feels unsteady.
And out we try to step, wobbly and quivering, because there’s the global unthinkable and the personal inconceivable, and the wide world is collapsing, and I’ve already witnessed enough world-collapse this year and it’s no joke. Fear is no joke.

It’s a bully. I’ve seen friends crippled by anxiety, unable to eat, to rise, to function.
She said it felt like she’s literally fighting a heavy boulder just to get out of bed, and my breath shallowed at the thought.
I’ve fought chest pain and insomnia, and constant nagging worry. In the dark I’ve tossed and turned, trying to shake the harassment from my ears, trying to drown it out with thoughts of the inevitable dawn.
Fear is a bully—it will argue its case, demand you to pay attention and squeeze you until you can’t breathe. It lurks in the shadows, it basks in the pit of your stomach, it whispers in the early hours of the morning.
Fear floats past your face like the scent of someone you can’t quite place and the collective stench of it pervades our news feeds, conversations and dominates our thoughts.
Even when we’re trying to drown it out.
Fear is the virus and it multiplies in isolation.

But we can’t let the what ifs hold the power. The peace I know is robust enough to push back. The peace I know is feisty, courageous.
The peace I know stills the shaking ground around me.
The peace I know is founded on the Word, and the Word is a Person who fights for me.
The peace I know is not the fragile kind.
It doesn’t give way to fear, it holds its ground and fear discovers there’s no way around.
This peace is unyielding. It refuses to give way to arguments or demands or pressure.

It doesn’t mean the pressure isn’t there. It doesn’t mean there won’t be a fight.
But the peace is there for us to grab hold of, if we’d only stretch out our arm that far, and hold on tight. I’ll take hold of it all, with both fists—when the sweat streams and the tears fall, and my muscles ache and my arms shake, still I’ll hold on, I’ll not yield.
Instead I’ll be courageous.

Today for me, courage looks like not watching the news.
It looks like showing up, when you’d rather be hiding away.
It looks like bringing a gift when you’d rather bury it.
It looks like making a decision about where I’ll search to find the peace my soul craves—the Word or the world? (Hint, the world is cray cray).
It looks like declarations of faith and favour, and easing my kids’ anxiety about the big stuff with a simple dinner around our kitchen table.

Courage looks like refusing to worry about any moment other than the one we’re in.

Courage looks like gratitude in the face of the unknown.
Because this is not the end of the story.
Hold tight, don’t yield to fear.