Doubting Your Fears
Who do we actually have more faith in?
When I was a young mom, the Hubs travelled quite a bit. It was difficult during the day to be the only one parenting. It was even more challenging in the evenings as I grew more tired and there was not a moment of “time out” for Mama – even in the bathroom. But my true challenge came when it was time for me to go to bed. I had been stalked by a man a few years earlier and I lived with the dread that he would return to carry out the threats he’d made.
We lived in a tiny little house with very little in the way of security and I was scared – scared with every mysterious noise, scared to sleep and then scared that if I didn’t sleep, I’d be a mom-zombie the next day! I tried everything from moving furniture in front of doors to sleeping with quiet worship music playing on repeat all night long.
But it wasn’t until I changed how I thought, that things really began to change for me. And, oddly, my thinking changed through a series of slightly scary events!
One morning I awoke to find things just outside my front door had been moved about. The wind didn’t do it; someone had been there. At once I felt that familiar chilling fear, but it was quickly erased by a sense that God had been there to protect us.
Then there was the night “Someone” forgot to lock the front door. Yet we were still safe.
Then there was the Christmastime when we hid all the Christmas gifts in the trunk of the car in the driveway and “Someone” left the trunk wide open! Yet the gifts were untouched.
The Holy Spirit, through these “accidental” vulnerabilities began to change my thinking as I saw that the Lord, and the Lord alone, was in charge of my safety.
Then I found the verse that said exactly this very thing: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Yahweh, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8). I’m pretty sure my mouth dropped open as I read King David’s words here. Someone else dealt with this fear? Someone else had discovered that only God makes us safe! That realization was so exciting! David had been hunted by Saul; he knew how hard it was to maintain peace at night and to sleep when scared. Yet God had seen him through.
In knowing I wasn’t alone in my fears, there was comfort. There came over me the realization that if I wasn’t alone, then perhaps the fear was more of a lie than I had suspected. Even though my fear was somewhat rational and founded on a true threat, perhaps I’d lost touch with even bigger truths – truths about my Abba’s willingness and ability to protect me and even His ability to be with me in scary things.
It was in this process that the Lord planted a new truth in my heart, a truth that startled me with its convicting clarity. Fear is faith. But it is faith that has been twisted and perverted. Fear is faith that Satan can cause more harm than the Lord can cause good. In my fear, I was actually attributing more power to Satan than I was to God!
Hadn’t God protected me more times than I could count – more times than I was even aware of? Couldn’t I trust Him to see to my safety now?
Now, here’s a caveat: I’m not talking about living in foolish recklessness and putting God to the test. We should walk as wisely and circumspectly as the Lord gives us the ability to. But, we should not be walking in fear and paranoia about things to the point that our God-given peace is not ruling and reigning over our hearts.
Maybe it’s time we started doubting our fears and believing our God, the Keeper and Sustainer of our lives. In that place of trusting the Lord we will find fear losing its grip on our minds and we will actually find ourselves safer than ever.