Fear. We all have it. The question is how do you and I overcome fear? Some fear heights, some fear swimming, some fear tests, some fear death and some fear the unknown. There are things all around us that can, and if I’m totally honest, we should fear.
I don’t believe fear is a bad thing. As with so much in life, how we respond to it determines whether it is a bad thing or a good thing. Fear can keep us from trying new things. It can also keep us from making the same mistakes repeatedly, because we already know we should be afraid of the outcome. It is not a secret that I am afraid. I am afraid I will never be completely healthy again. I’m afraid of trying new meds because I have learned that nothing comes without a side effect I despise. I see the fear in my sons’ eyes when my husband says “watch Mom for me for a minute”. I have read of the fear my son experiences when he chose epilepsy as his graduation topic and began writing from his personal point of view about how epilepsy changes lives. I believe it is reasonable to fear there will never be a cure for this. I’m working very hard to overcome the fear that I may never drive again. That kind of independence may risk my life and others. I’m learning that fear takes us to a deeper level of understanding, trust and faith.
Last week was a hard week. I don’t know why, it just was. I was afraid and I was lonely. I called a friend and as we sobbed together about both our life situations I realized that fear led me to call her. Fear took me to a safe person, and guess what? She needed a safe person too. We talked, cried and laughed for over an hour, encouraging each other in ways that only she and I understand. I tend to channel my fears within, thinking everyone is too busy, they don’t get me, and everyone has their own issues. News flash! Everyone does have their own issues and I wonder what would happen if we were honest with the world and said it out loud. I keep looking at the advertisement of the women with the signs of how much they weigh and wonder what might happen if we each help up a sign and said THIS IS MY ISSUE.
Each of us have so much in common, but we are unwilling to share because of past hurts and hangups. Look, I am right there in the middle of it with you. I don’t share because I was betrayed, but because one or two betrayed me does not mean everyone will. Above all else He is with us. This morning I was listening to the radio and the song “He Is With Us” came on. I began to absorb the words, really ABSORB the words, into my marrow, as Beth Moore teaches us. The song reminds us “We can trust our God, He knows what He’s doing….Our faith is sealed, Our hope is real, Come what may, We’re not afraid”. Oh boy, so much easier said than done, but every opportunity of fear IS an opportunity for faith. Faith IS real and hope IS real. My Bible says so, does yours? Does my life say it? Does yours?
I have incredible friends. They are not incredible because they have done things for me or with me. I have incredible friends because I can WATCH them practice faith everyday. They teach by example. They lead their lives by faith, trusting that, above all else, God is with them, holding on, never leaving….always with us. When I fear, I remember…my fear is nothing compared to the fear Mary felt when her son, Jesus was brought to Calvary. When I think of this I am embarrassed to have fear. Jesus died that I might not fear ANYTHING! HE did not fear! In that we can all trust! Mary did not know Jesus would come again, but she trusted. Her own fear and desperation also displayed her faith.
He Is With Us reminds us “when your hope is lost and faith is shaken, when you wonder if you’re gonna make it, There’s a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt. We can’t pretend to see the ending or what’s coming up ahead….But we can stay close to the ONE who knows”. Psalm 56:3 says “When I am afraid, I will trust you.” That is my responsibility…to trust. Every moment of fear is an opportunity to trust. Fear = Trust.
Fear will come to us, probably each day, in one way or another. Sometimes we may not recognize it as fear, but we may call it something else. Recognize this, whatever we fear, trust CAN overcome. Now I am by no means an expert in trust. I am a student, and fortunate enough to have examples from which I learn. We have to learn to trust Him everyday, every hour, every minute. We don’t know what the future holds, but He does. I am responsible for channeling fear into trust.
He Is With Us says “We believe there is purpose in everything, We surrender to His leading. He wants nothing more than to have us close”. Jesus wants us to remain close to the One who knows. He knows our fears, He knows how many hairs are on our head and He… above all else, wants us to trust Him. “It might hurt now, But He’s holding on to you and me and He’s never gonna leave”.
Copyright © Gatewood Campbell, June 2015