My Fear Factors

When I saw the new upcoming series “The Fear Factor,” one of the questions that I asked myself was who am I afraid of? The question led me thinking deeper thoughts on my relationship with my dad and God.

For those who don’t know me, I am a pastor’s kid, who grew in the church and I have a great family. I have been taught that I can never stop going to church [which in reality, growing up I couldn’t even skip one service ], I have to love God and love people (I am still working on that one).
So as a result, I really fear God. That is no doubt, but besides that I fear no one! I am not afraid of my Sunday school teachers, the pastors or any Chinese teachers(they were someone’s nightmare).
However there is only one person on earth, that can really make me terrified. Even though it has gotten much better over the years (fearful with different reasons now), I am still fearful of my dad.
I am afraid because of my CHILDISHNESS
I am childish at times and sometimes I can’t see the bigger picture and understand the greater good.There have been moments in my life in which I have not been able to see my own faults. This is where discipline comes in place. Unfortunately, growing up I was stubborn and silly. I would keep on making the same mistakes that I would already know the aftermath of.
As a child, when my dad would find out about my actions such as not doing my homework or me lying about finishing my homework, there are times I would be almost scared to death. I would be afraid of him finding out my own mistakes and would be terrified of the discipline.
I think this works the same way in our relationship with God. If we can’t grow up to be an adult, a lot of times we will find ourselves in a situation that we are so nervous and fearful about being “found out” or caught in what we have done. Quite possibly, we would hate the discipline or would worry about when it would come. In fact, most of those situations are easy to avoid if we stop being childish.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening, it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. ~Hebrews 12:11
I am afraid because of lack of COMMUNICATION
I remember in my 12­ years of life as a student, one of the favorite questions that all my teachers and schools would like to ask was “What do your parents do?” You have to know that I lived in Shanghai, China. So having parents that are in full­-time ministry is not something people would regularly see. In fact, most of the people where I grew up don’t even know what a church is. Full­ time ministry is tough and it requires a lot of faith in God. On the other side, a lot of my friends probably wouldn’t know what the word “budget” means.
At some point, I started not understanding why my dad would rather spend huge amounts of his time traveling around the country for those little churches that no one has heard of than making good money and having a company that would pay for our schooling and family vacations. However, that and other more questions have never been answered. I am and was smart, but I refused to communicate. Instead of getting to know my father, I chose to be angry, complaining about life, rejecting any bonding moments, and pushing my family away. Deep down inside, I would still fear my dad because I didn’t know him, especially since there was no communication or connection. In the midst of our connection in our relationship, he still provided me with everything.
As with our relationship with God, if we don’t want to pray we keep pushing God away when He is trying to talk to us. But on the other end, He is still providing everything we need. Dear God..!
It sounds really creepy to me. I was angry on the surface to my dad, but was afraid in my mind every time I saw him. Because I knew that I was not worthy for what he was doing for me. I know for a fact that my dad loves me, but there still is a chance for him to get mad at me (and it is totally fair). I think you can imagine how terrified it would be if our relationship with God is just like that. God is way more powerful than human kind. Most of us are not a gambler and even gamblers sometimes are afraid.
I am afraid because of my PRIDE
This actually just happened recently and is something I am still working on, so wanna share this with you. A couple weeks ago I got into a car accident. Fortunately, no one got injured besides my car; it was totally gone. So,I wasn’t really about all of the calling process with a million companies for fixing it. I was just worried about one thing, HOW SHOULD I TELL MY DAD. I was giving myself some excuses that my dad will not solve my problem( because that’s how he raised me). I had thoughts that he would tell my mom and then my mom would get too worried, and much more thoughtful excuses….
In reality, I was so afraid of disappointing him. I have fear that I can’t make him proud of me at all. I ended up carrying that pressure and fearfulness for two days. I was afraid of him finding out or being afraid of his response, etc… Those are all because of my own pride. Well, the truth is when I told him the whole story, he didn’t get mad at all. I was surprised and felt relief.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~ Matthew 11:29 NIV
A lot of times God doesn’t act the way we think He would. I put pride as my last point because I think it is a very general thing and is able to trigger so many other factors that destroy the peace of our life. The fear of God should be the outcome of us seeking Him like King David says in Proverbs 2, but not because of the aftermath from our own silliness. I believe there is different types of fear, and the fear of the Lord that God wants us to have bring true wisdom, life, blessing and everything that is good for us. The fear of God that comes from our pride, our childishness and rebellious isn’t what he wants us to have.
Daniel Pan

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