Yesterday morning in church, our worship team led a rousing rendition of “Hosanna” by Paul Baloche. One of my favorite songs, this is, because it reminds me that God’s presence washes away our fears.
I’ve nearly completed an intensive fall speaking schedule. Everywhere I’ve traveled, I’ve met women who’ve spoken honestly with me about their fears. Here are some of the things they’ve said:
- “I’m afraid my kids are developing friendships with the wrong crowd. I see what’s happening but they won’t listen to me when I talk with them about the importance of hanging out with kids who will have a positive influence on them.”
- “I’m afraid for my daughter’s future as she struggles with cancer.”
- “I’m afraid for my marriage. My husband’s addicted to pornography, and I don’t think I can deal with this anymore.”
- “I’m afraid for my son and his children as they deal with my daughter-in-law’s mental illness.”
- “I’m afraid to get on a plane. How do you do what you do when it involves so much air travel?”
Those examples merely touch the tip of the iceberg called fear. This issue is universal, and it’s not going to disappear anytime soon. But there’s hope for those of us who wrestle with scary stuff. It’s found in the truth of who God is and in the promise of His presence.
Imagine! Our heavenly Father created the universe with a spoken word. He parted the Red Sea, fed thousands with a few fish and loaves, and He raised the dead. This is our God! This is the One who calls us by name and knows the number of hairs on our head. This is the One who promises to never leave or forsake us, to be our fortress, and to give us strength. Why, then, do we feel afraid? Because we focus on our circumstances rather than on His presence and promises.Psalm 34:4-6 says, “I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy: no shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.”
Today I’m feeling a bit scared about my looming book deadlines. If I had nothing to do but write, I’d feel more confident about meeting those deadlines. But life’s not like that. I have a lot of other responsibilities, and I want to spend time with my grandkids, too. So I ask God for wisdom, for strength, and for courage. And He answers when I focus my thoughts on Him and His promises rather than on the stuff that unnerves me.
How about you? Of what are you afraid today? Focus your thoughts on God’s promises and presence. Read and reread and re-reread Psalm 34:4-6. And take a few minutes to listen to “Hosanna.” Doing these things will set you on the right path and slowly replace your fears with confidence and peace.
Grace, I truly agree that God’s presence washes away our fears. If we focus on God instead of our circumstances, everything changes. Great read. Thanks.
Amen! We so often focus on our circumstances, and whoosh! Down we go. Like Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus and placed his focus on the waves around him.
Early in life I had a fear of heights. I got a job on a farm as a tgeeaner. I was small. I had to climb to the top of the barn and crawl out across a series of 6 inch wide boards on which I balanced while throwing bales of hay from a motorized steel conveyor. The conveyor would regularly catch on the bales and toss me more than I tossed the bales. By the end of the summer I could run across those boards without fear. Heights no longer bother me.But, high bridges do if I’m in a car or on a bicycle. I’m fine on foot. I used to live in Minneapolis. I was driving onto the I35W bridge in 1989 when I observed a 13 car pileup on a cold, icy day. That added to the fear. It became worse over the years. I always thought it was irrational – until the day that same bridge fell down. Now my fear is deeply reinforced. The anxiety starts several miles before I’m at a bridge that I know is high. Fears can be erased through experience. They can just as easily be cemented in us.Timmie Joe Bob