Conntecting the Dots

Fear and the Storms of Life

What’s with the fear issue? Seems that’s all I read about when I open my Bible these days. Maybe God’s trying to tell me something, ya think?

Yesterday I read about sailors whose ships were tossed to the heavens and plunged to the depths. These men cringed in terror, reeling and staggering like drunks. The storm drove them to their wits’ end where they cried, “Lord, help!”

And He did. “He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!” (Psalm 107:26-30).

Several years ago I wrote a “Drama in Real Life” story for Reader’s Digest. I interviewed two men who’d survived a fishing boat accident off Vancouver Island. My blood ran cold as they described the storm they’d encountered at sea – howling winds and frigid waves that towered several stories high, tossing their boat like a bathtub toy and eventually sucking it beneath the water’s murky depths. The men’s terror matched the sailors’ fear as expressed in the Psalms. So did their cries for help.

It’s not only sailors at sea who experience storms that leave them at wits’ end. Landlubbers do, too – homemakers, office professionals, clergy, teachers, nurses, students, single moms….the list goes on indefinitely. I know several women my age and younger who are battling end-stage cancers right now. I know others who are reeling from marriage breakups or staggering under the weight of their kids making lousy choices with lifelong consequences. They’re at their wit’s end and crying, “Lord, help!”

And He does. Sometimes He calms the storm immediately; sometimes not. But regardless of the wind and waves of our circumstances, He can calm the storm that rages in our minds and our emotions.

The enemy of our souls wants to keep us entrenched and immobilized by fear. But God wants to fill us with courage, to calm our anxious thoughts, and to set us free from fear’s power. Every time I feel afraid, I call, “Lord, help!” I remind myself that His love for me never fails. I find courage in remembering His faithfulness to me in the past, and I find peace in reciting truth such as, “God has promised to never leave or forsake me, and He’s bigger than any storm I will ever encounter.” My circumstances might not change immediately, but I experience a blessed stillness within.

Have you experienced a storm in life? If not, I want to know your strategy for storm evasion. If so, how did you survive?

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