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Just Drop the Blanket

Christmas Fear Trust (In God)

Source: "Just Drop the Blanket" by JASON SOROSKI, published GospelCoalition.org, DECEMBER 21, 2015 |

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-12-20

Scripture: Luke 2:10

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

ILLUSTRATION

Each Christmas for the past nearly six decades, Americans have gathered around the TV to watch one of the most iconic and beloved cartoon animations of all time, A Charlie Brown Christmas. And within this iconic show, is one of the most iconic scenes ever scripted -- Linus' monologue about the true meaning of Christmas. 

Mocked, humiliated, and confused, Charlie Brown cries out, "Doesn't anybody know what Christmas is all about?!"

Linus gently replies, "I know what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." And with that He takes center stage to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel as recorded in Luke Chapter Two:

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

But have you ever noticed what happens right in the middle of that monologue? Linus drops his blanket!

Jason Soroski, writing for The Gospel Coalition, has this to say ... 

Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.

Until this moment. When he simply drops it.

In that climactic scene when Linus shares what “Christmas is all about,” he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words “fear not” (at :44 seconds).

APPLICATION

Soroski continues ...

... it’s pretty clear what Charles Schulz was saying through this, and it’s so simple it’s brilliant.

The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears.

The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves.

The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, and learn to trust and cling to him instead. ...

... in the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 continues to live on as an inspiration for us to seek true peace and true security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found.

And where is that? In Christ alone!

Won't you join Linus? Lean into the manger. Behold the gift of the Savior. And drop the blanket!

Stepping Into the Fog with Faith

Faith Fear Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Amber Szabo | Date Posted: 2023-11-10

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5 ; John 10:27

Author: Amber Szabo
1

ILLUSTRATION

Coming from California we of course had some unique weather issues. Something that we had in the Central Valley of California was what we called Pea Soup Fog. Growing up on a rice farm, our winters would arrive like clock work with a thick blanket of fog. Sometimes we would have a week of all night and all day fog that would never break or lift.

Living out in the countryside I remember nights where people would show up at our door asking where they were because they would get so lost they wouldn’t know what road they were on. 

Peas Soup Fog is not just disorienting, it can be utterly dangerous and unhealthy:

[It] is a very thick and often yellowish, greenish or blackish fog caused by air pollution that contains soot particulates and the poisonous gas sulphur dioxide. This very thick smog occurs in cities and is derived from the smoke given off by the burning of soft coal for home heating and in industrial processes. Smog of this intensity is often lethal to vulnerable people such as the elderly, the very young (infants) and those with respiratory problems.

And beyond being unhealthy, it can downright blinding.

When learning to drive it was imperative that I learn to roll my windows down at a stop sign to listen for cars since you couldn't see them.  I almost ran into a cow once because it had gotten loose and was walking on the road in the fog.   

Growing up I remember the fog was dangerous and I was scared of it.  

APPLICATION

Flash forward 20 years. The foggy days weren’t as prevalent as when I was younger in the Valley, but we would still have a few weeks a year where we would get a stretch of fog.  I would wake up early to go on my neighborhood walks and remember how the lack of being able to see heightened my sense of hearing.  I felt like I could hear everything within a mile range. 

I remember one recent foggy morning heading out for my morning walk after we had sold our home. At that time we had no answers of what to do next, what was coming next. As I pondered the uncertainties, I stood there in the street and looked down it into the fog. I literally could not see two steps ahead of me. 

For the first time ever I remember not feeling scared or wary, but I felt trust. I prayed, "Lord guide each step, help me to trust even when I don’t see the next step. When I'm scared, help me to just take that next step. Let me hear your voice to guide me."

He was so faithful to give peace, faith, and trust in the middle of that foggy season of life.  Whether the vision isn’t perfect and you have a lot of questions, or when you can see clearly, but still have a lot of questions, roll down the windows, so to speak, and listen for His voice. Allow His wisdom, His counsel, His comfort to guide you through the fog. 

Walk in faith as you step into the unknown.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28, ESV).

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27, NIV).

Step Confidently Into Newness of Life

Fear New Birth Dependence on God

Contributed By: James Odom | Date Posted: 2023-11-09

Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7 ; 2 Corinthians 5:17

Author: James Odom/Illustration Exchange
1

ILLUSTRATION

According to the BJSM

"Knee injury accounts for 41% of all sports injuries. One fifth of them involve the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Other injuries include meniscus tears, posterior cruciate ligament tears, articular cartilage damages and avulsion of ligaments and tendons."

To address that staggering number of knee injuries, it's estimated that there are over 800,000 total knee replacement surgeries performed each year in the U.S. alone (not including the hundreds of thousands of "lesser" knee repair surgeries). 

Post-surgical healing and rehabilitation can take weeks, if not months, to complete. Ultimately, most people see significant improvement. Yet many people report that they are hesitant to use their new knee(s), frearful of trusting it to support them or fearful of re-injuring themselves. For example:

Once I was up early going through my morning routine playing basketball with a friend, when all of a sudden I turned the wrong way, and tore my ACL. After months of rehab, I went out to play light ball just to see if I could do it. I moved around on the court as if I were still injured -- I had not adapted to a healed ACL!

The coach (and my doctors and therapists) told me I could move, but mentally I was afraid to move the leg. subconsciously controlled by my fear of getting injured. I went into protection mode because fear had gripped me.

I was protecting, not realizing or acknowledging that I had a new knee.

We often protect what's been previously injured thinking that it will happen again. I had to ask my self why I was not willing to use the new knee. It's because I had not yet adapted to the new me.  

APPLICATION

Many of us limp into the Kingdom, bruised, battered, and lame from the brokenness of past lifestyles, sins, and hurtful experiences. We come to Jesus, asking healing for our brokenness, and He is doesn't let us down. In fact, Scripture states, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV). 

God calls us to live in light of our newness of life. Why walk and limp through life when your very being has been made utterly new. "[You] were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:21b-24, ESV).

Step out confidently in faith, without fear, to walk in newness of life!

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT).

Putting the Basket in the Water: Trusting God in the Next Phase of Your Child’s Life

Parenting Trust (In God) Fear

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-07-27

Author: Ashlei Woods
3

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Things Are Not As They Appear

Fear Discernment Trust (In God)

Contributed By: Daniel Aguilera | Date Posted: 2023-07-08

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5

Author: Daniel Aguilera
0

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Who's Your Bouncer? Perfect Love Bounces Fear to the Curb

Love (Divine) Love (Uncondtional) Fear

Contributed By: Joey Sparks | Date Posted: 2023-05-11

Scripture: 1 John 4:18 ; 1 John 4:19

Author: Joey Sparks
1

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Don't Dread the Unknown

Anxiety Fear Worry

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2021-11-14

Scripture: Philippians 4:6

Author: Barnett Gushin
21

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The Carrot And The Stick

Motivation Fear Love (Uncondtional)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2020-12-20

Scripture: 1 John 4:18 ; 1 John 4:19

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

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Curing The "Yips"

Intimidation Confidence Fear

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2020-08-14

Scripture: Philippians 3:10 ; Ephesians 6:19

Author: Neal Pollard
5

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Strong Hands Soothe Fear

Fear Fatherhood Confidence

Contributed By: Ben Kurz | Date Posted: 2019-11-25

Scripture: Psalms 23:4 ; Isaiah 41:10

Author: Ben Kurz
5

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