When I Am Afraid
You know that feeling. The pit in your stomach, pounding of your heart, and rush of your thoughts as you go from the possibility of a job loss to being homeless on the streets–all in a matter of seconds. Gripped by fear, albeit an imagined one.
Recent tornadoes in Texas and several events affecting my family this year remind me just how much fear is an ever-present emotion with me and with most women–real fears as well as imagined ones.
Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so we will take action against it. It has a purpose. Yet, fear can take root in us–causing us to give way to panic and hysteria. God knows this about us. And, He wants us to trust Him when it does.
My verse for this year is Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you [God].” As one of my Bible teachers, Vickie Kraft, taught me many years ago, the psalmist doesn’t say “if” I am afraid but “when.” Fear will happen. When it does, our faithful God wants us to trust Him.
Through following Jesus for many years, I know that our God will not rescue me from everything that is threatening me or my family. But, in every situation, I can count on 4 truths to sustain me:
#1: God loves me. I am His child, His daughter, totally loved and accepted by Him through my faith in His Son Jesus. God loves me.
#2: God knows what is going on in my life. He knows everything, sees everything. What’s happening to me is not behind some lead door blocking his x-ray vision. God knows what is going on in my life.
#3: God can do something about it. He has the power and know-how to take away the suffering, to provide the job, to change the threatening situation. God can do something about it.
#4: I can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do. This is the sticky part. I have an idea of what I think His goodness to me should look like! Yet, through reading the Bible, I’ve seen that His goodness looks different in each person’s life. I know He is good. I must choose to trust His choice of how to be good to me. Then, as 1 Peter 3:6 says, “Do what is right and do not give way to fear.” When I do that, my God fills my heart with joy.
Every time I feel gripped by fear—the pit, the pounding, the rush—I stop and review those 4 truths, make the choice to trust Him again, and let Him replace my fear with joy that I am His, and He loves me. I can trust His goodness.