Partying in the presence of fear

by kerriebutterfield

Flickr 5.25 Party by David BY-ND 4.0

Flickr 5.25 Party by David BY-ND 4.0

In early 2012, we felt like God was asking us to sell our house.

We put our house on the market, and after a few weeks, it sold. Which meant we needed to figure out where we would go next. We prayed and God was silent. So, we started looking for rental properties. We found one we loved that stretched our weekly budget, but we decided to take a risk and go for it. On the morning we were scheduled to sign the lease I got a call from the realtor who sold our house.

He said, “Kerrie , I’m calling to let you know we have a problem with the sale. I think it’s off. The inspector found a problem with a support beam. This might not happen.”

My first reaction was, “What do we do? If we wait we will loose the lease, if we sign the lease, we could end up paying for a lease and a mortgage on a house that has foundation issues that are expensive to fix!” We weren’t those people who took financial risks. We liked safe and secure. Surely, this wasn’t how God intended this to work out.

Feelings of fear and anxiety began to gang up on me like bullies. I felt surrounded by fear and I couldn’t stop listening to what fear had to say. It felt dark, and scary. I knew I needed to worship. So, I went into my bedroom and began to sing to God. As I did, the Holy Spirit said, “I love to prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies. What would it look like for you to celebrate victory in front of your enemies even though you don’t know what will happen?”

I came out of my bedroom and said, “I think we need to go out and celebrate how God is working this out for good. We need to feast on goodness in front of our enemies like it describes in Psalm 23. We can’t let fear bully us. Fear doesn’t get to win.”

At the same time, my responsible husband said, “Kerrie we need to go sign that lease and trust God to work this mess out for us. He told us to sell our house. He will look after us. He is a good Dad.”

Our family went to the leasing agent’s office to sign the lease. Afterwards, we went to a cafe, and my kids had permission to order things I wouldn’t normally allow because this was a “goodness” celebration. We shared our “good God stories.” The stories of God’s goodness towards us and others–His provision and healing–until we could feel His brightness and hope. The Son had come out to party with us!

The next day, the realtor called. The couple who bought our house wanted it “as is” if we would lower the price by $1000. “YES!!!! Sold!”

This was a defining moment for me. I learned trust is a weapon that defies fear by enjoying God’s goodness. I learned to sit down and feast on His goodness while surrounded by the enemy and by partnering with God’s goodness, we robbed fear of its power and influence. It wasn’t something I had done with intentionality or defiance before. In the midst of the journey of obeying and trusting God, bad things happen, but I’m increasingly allowing the “Good Shepherd” to care for me and denying fear a seat at the table.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever. Psalm 23:5-6