Thursday, December 13, 2012


My little cousin would aggravate her little brother to no end. It used to crack me up to hear her mom yell, "Don't you fret him!" or "Stop fretting him!"

It was always hilarious to me.

The word has a lot of great picture word definitions: From


1  [fret]  Show IPA verb, fret·ted,fret·ting, noun.
verb (used without object)
to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent, or the like:Fretting about the lost ring isn't going to help.
to cause corrosion; gnaw into something: acids that fret at the strongest metals.
to make a way by gnawing, corrosion, wearing away, etc.: The river frets at its banks until a new channel is formed.
to become eaten, worn, or corroded (often followed by away ): Limestone slowly frets away under pounding by the wind and rain.
to move in agitation or commotion, as water: water fretting ove rthe stones of a brook.
verb (used with object)
to torment; irritate, annoy, or vex: You mustn't fret yourself about that.
to wear away or consume by gnawing, friction, rust, corrosives,etc.: the ocean fretting its shores.
to form or make by wearing away a substance: The river had fretted an underground passage.
to agitate (water): Strong winds were fretting the channel.
an irritated state of mind; annoyance; vexation.
erosion; corrosion; gnawing.
a worn or eroded place.

For most of us, we wouldn't choose these old fashioned words, but, if honesty fitted itself upon us, we must confess that we worry, become vexed, are agitated, are annoyed, have gnawing concerns, eroded confidence...well, we're fretted and prone to fretful fits of fret!

Sometimes, I just want to yell at Satan: "Stop fretting them!"

"Stop fretting me!"

I know it's some horrible combination of lack faith, attack of the enemy and exceeding weaknesses of the flesh that finds us feeling attacked on some points and powerless on many.

"Worried Man" by Jean Townsend
It's just not funny to me anymore. As a parent, I get why it was not funny to my cousin's mom. As a pastor, equipping those sweet saints I undershepherd, it breaks my heart over and over and over. I want my intercessory prayers to be like A Magic Prayer Wand, which I make a wave offering of and dispense confidence and fear-dispersing answers.

I know we're not given a spirit of fear, for the Bible tells me so! (ref. 2 Timothy 1:7)

I know there are some things to fear, and we have a God we ought to fear, but agitation is not to be our norm. Anxiety, irritation, and nerve wearing should not be a disciple's daily experience.

Keep in mind, the enemy would just as soon steal your joy and hinder your walk with a one large fret as he would a thousand small ones, or any minor or major sin or tragedy.

"Did God really say that? Really?" is the common intonation of this master schemer. He didn't just pull that junk on Adam and Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3:1). That might have been a one liner, but it's an oft repeated one liner.

If nothing else, the enemy will author confusion. He'll befuddle. He will cast doubt, especially concerning the deity of Christ, the necessity of the cross and anything reinforcing God as Creator.

Frankly, I could go on all day, but my point is simple: the enemy desires us to be anxious, unsettled and fruitless. He wants our joy sapped. In the least, he wants us fretted.

I know it's the Spirit of God, and I imagine His voice is just like Jesus' --- I hear Him say to me, "Let not your heart be troubled..." 

"I'm listening, Lord. I'm listening, and trying to hear. It's just...just...I don't know, so many thoughts."

"Let not your heart be troubled. Whether I fix this or not, I've got you. Whoever believes in Me will do greater works than Me..."

"Wait? What? I mean, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I'm confused. White noise, brain is humming and I'm assailed on every side, foes within and foes without and I'm flat out troubled. And, you say seomething about doing 'greater works' a time like this?" 

"Absolutely. You're a bit Martha-ish tonight...troubled by too many things. One thing is necessary, and that's to sit at My feet and let Me deal with you. And, in dealing with you, the fretting will cease, and you feed My sheep. Get right back to it."

The melody rises up, and then the words: "Standing on the promises of Christ my King; through eternal ages, let His praises ring. Glory to the highest, I will shout and sing; standing on the promises of God!"

His voice starts like a whisper, agreeing with His word. When I begin to agree, fret is replaced by worship.

I shouldn't be amazed, but I stand amazed in the Presence...