Fear. We’ve all experienced it. Fear can be crippling. It
can paralyze us. Fear can also be good; fear keeps children from touching a hot
stove. Fear keeps us from jumping into the lion’s den. So how do we keep a
healthy fear from turning into a consuming fear? Several years ago, I was struck by lightening. It was a terrifying, death-defying experience. For months afterwards, I would cower in fear when thunderstorms came our way. It took time for me to overcome this fear. Why is it some fears are easy to overcome, while others threaten to strangle us?
This year has been one of the
hardest of my life, for reasons I won’t write about on my blog. Perhaps the
most difficult part has been (and is) fear of the unknown. We make plans and
have our lives mapped out. Then life happens. Circumstances rivet our world,
causing us either to trust in spite of the fear or to surrender to its grip.
I wish I could say that I’ve always chosen to trust, but
sadly, I can be quite the worry wart. I worry about things that are out of my
control. I know that each day has enough troubles of its own, but it’s so easy to
contemplate all the possible consequences that tomorrow might bring. The Bible
encourages us to take every thought captive – man, that is sooooo hard!
I am reading a book by Ruth Graham called Fear not tomorrow, for God is Already There.
I’m learning to trust – for it seems the opposite of fear. Mrs. Graham writes, “I
realized that I had been putting God in a box. If I just did the right things,
said the right things, gave Him the time, then He would show up. But I saw that
my trust in God could not rest on any experience I may or may not have. My
trust, my belief in God, had to rest on the fact that He was with me, whether I
felt Him or not” (p. 42-43). Faith is
trusting God when we don’t see evidence of His presence. I don’t know why God
allows what He allows, but I know He is in control, even when things seem to be
spinning out of control. He is our Peace.
Graham goes on to say, “It is when we are undone, messy, and
vulnerable that God does his deep, comforting work in us” (p. 60). He’s doing a
lot of chiseling on me, but I know He has the final work of art in sight with