A re-post in the wake of my husband’s recent job loss and all the uncertainty that accompanies it.
Questions about faith and God filled my mind as I tossed back and forth in bed–
–then Fear came calling.
Now, I know better than to allow Fear to get his foot in the door, but it was midnight and the week had been filled with disappointment and uncertainty. And Fear is no novice, he knows when to visit.
There’s something about the dark that breeds discouragement and depression–that gives Fear the floor to speak his mind. And he has a lot to say, doesn’t he?
- “You can’t prevent the struggles of your family or friends.”
- “You can’t secure your future or that of your loved ones . . .”
- “Maybe God doesn’t have a plan for you after all.”
- “Maybe He’ll allow that suffering or maybe He won’t. Never can tell, after all, God’s ‘ways are higher than yours . . .'”
As I lay there, my stomach in knots and mind churning, I felt small and helpless against the surging tide of life. I tried to conjure encouraging thoughts of God and failed. Instead, I fretted over the “sovereignty” of a God I couldn’t fully understand–and to be honest–was afraid to fully trust.
I felt like a lone soul bobbing in a vast sea whipped by wind and waves.
It’s a terrible feeling, isn’t it?
Uncertainty. Struggle. Suffering. They rush up, wash over us, and then recede, leaving us sodden, stranded, and exposed.
Given an inch, Fear will move in, set up his kingdom, and rule our life.
But we don’t have to let him.
The next morning as I stumbled out to the porch and slipped into the rocking chair, I was exhausted. I took a couple deep breaths of the cool, sweet air and tried to shake off the ague of the late-night struggle. Overhead a small, private plane painted a festive orange, hummed across the pale blue sky. A bird soared past, then dipped, and turned in a lazy loop before flying beyond the trees.
I watched it, longing for its simple, fear free life.
Picking up my Bible, I began to read the day’s passage:
“Only be careful to watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live . . . . ” Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)
I sat there and contemplated some of the things I’ve seen God do in my life. And as I remembered, the God I’ve loved for so many years stepped into my mind’s eye–
–and sent Fear packing.
“The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness . . . ” Exodus 34:5-14
“There is no one like [your] God . . , who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!'” Deuteronomy 33:26-29
Another bird swooped by, wings pumping as it flew over the house. And God spoke to my heart: “Fear would hold you a prisoner; I would have you fly.”
–a Deliverer whose heart I could trust.
What about you?
Is Fear knocking on your door today? You don’t have to let him in. Instead:
- Take some time to meditate on Scriptures that reveal God’s character.
- Think about the ways you’ve seen Him work in your life.
- Thank God for His love and faithfulness to you.
Then watch God free you from Fear and anchor your heart in His. For when we focus on who God is and what He’s done for us, He sends Fear packing.
What Bible truths about God help you combat fear?
For further encouragement: Psalm 103:17, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 56:3-4, Deuteronomy 31:6, Romans 5:7, I Peter 2:24, Hebrews 4:15-16, Joshua 23:14, Matthew 10:28, I John 4:18
An additional resource to help you discover who God is: Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional
Feature photo courtesy of rawpixel.com.