Did you know that fear can block joy?
Fear is your brain's watchdog. This watchdog was put in place long ago in order to help you stay safe. The problem many of us face now is that our watchdog blocks us from receiving good things too.
I have 2 dogs in my house. Not metaphorical dogs, real dogs. A mutt and a German Shepherd. My dogs love our family more than life itself. They are both really vigilant about making sure that we are always safe. Much of their day is spent looking out one of the windows of the house. They seem to think that their job is to notice if anything comes into or near our yard. When this happens, they bark.
The sound of these 2 dogs, and the look of my German Shepherd is usually enough to make any "bad guys" think twice about coming to my house. But sometimes it also makes harmless people afraid too. And that's not good.
I did some research about dogs that bark out the window and discovered something key.
The German Shepherd in particular is hard wired to notify the "alpha" member of her pack when anything suspicious comes into sight. If no one comes to take care of the offender, she will take it upon herself to keep us safe. But, if the alpha pack member comes and sees the situation and decides no further action is necessary, then her job is done.
Since I am the alpha member of our pack, when my dogs bark out the window at strangers walking by, all I have to do is go see what is going on. I come and praise her for doing her job, look at the "strangers" and tell her it's ok, they are safe and I go back to whatever I was doing. Sometimes I tell her, "thank you for making me aware that someone is here....I'll go take care of it".
Either way, she knows her job is done and can relax.
Last week during one of my life coaching sessions, one of my clients began having some fears come up when we started to invite the Lord to speak with us. It was during that time that I realized that our fears are some very vigilant watchdogs. In this case, the fears were "barking" and blocking her from establishing a connection with Immanuel.
How many times have you cowered behind your barking watchdogs and chosen to stay hidden away from the One coming to be with you? How often have you invited the Lord to come and help you, only to have your watchdogs come between you?
Are you letting your watchdogs be alpha?
What if you reclaimed your status as alpha and took back your right to access a situation and determine if it was safe? When your fears start barking, acknowledge them.
Maybe you even need to thank them for making you aware of potential danger...but then you need to tell them "I've got this". Let your fears know that they have done their job. Their job was to alert you to potential danger. But now their job is done. Now you can invite Immanuel in.
Who knows, maybe He'll end up playing fetch with your watchdogs and becoming friends! Then in the future when He shows up, your watchdogs won't be alarmed, they'll be relaxed in His presence.
Can you imagine Jesus being glad to be with you AND your watchdogs?
This is how joy silences fear. Isn't that a nice reversal?