Yesterday our pastor spoke about overcoming fear. It’s an endless topic, it seems, with endless reasons to feel afraid.
This week, farmers in Manitoba wait and watch as floodwaters approach and fill their fields. In the southern States, the Mississippi river rises and workers desperately try to avert a catastrophe that could exceed Hurricane Katrina. And this comes on the heels of rogue tornadoes that recently killed hundreds.
Men and women struggling today to save their homes and livelihood, and those grieving the recent loss of their loved ones are dealing with fear. Most of us, however, watch these situations unfold on TV until we’ve heard and seen enough, and then we go about our daily business. But every once in a while, a closer-to-home situation arises, and fear threatens to take up residence in our hearts and minds.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend from church drew me aside at the end of the Sunday service. Her voice choked as she whispered, “I’ve had a cat-scan, and the doctor saw spots on my lungs. I’m going for further tests. Would you please pray for me?” I gave her a big hug and asked God to fill and surround her with His peace as she waits for her tests and the results.
Over the past couple of weeks, my hubby and I have trained nearly two dozen people who will be doing short-term missions trips this summer. They’ve expressed fears of another sort: fear that their fundraising efforts will fall short, fear of getting lost in airports, fear of inadequacy as they minister to people of another culture, fear of eating unfamiliar foods, and fear of not getting enough rest or of becoming ill on the trip.
As for me, I struggle with fear, too. Here’s the latest: I’m afraid that, if our mission volunteers allow their fears to grow, they’ll become discouraged and change their minds about going! I’m also afraid that we’ll have to cancel one of our outreaches in Romania because that team still lacks two members. Time is running out. How might a cancellation impact the ministry of our career staff with whom we plan to partner for this outreach?
Every time I feel fear tighten its grip on me, I turn to the Scripture and focus on its truth. This morning I read, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly” (Psalm 112:7,8). What a great reminder, eh?
No matter what circumstances you and I face—and I guarantee we will face tough stuff—we can rest assured that the Lord will care for us. We may need to retrain negative thought patterns by filling our minds with the truth found in Scripture, but as we do, we can move beyond our fears with confident trust in this all-powerful, all-present, all-wise, and ever-loving God.
What fears are you facing today?