Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fear! (Or Not!)

Dear friends,

Early this morning I dreamed of watching magnificent waves pounding the shore of a beach. Safe on a high observation deck behind a thick glass wall, I exlaimed in awe about how beautiful and enormous they were, towering perhaps 20 feet! Oddly enough, dolphins swam placidly among the tumult. But then, much to my shock, I found myself suddenly in the water, helplessly pulled out to sea by the ruthless undertow, terrifying waves now crashing over me. I could not find my voice to shout for help, and not one of my former companions on the deck realized that I was not still with them, that I was in mortal danger. And then I woke up shaking, shaken.

Moments later, I realized that even though I am unlikely to ever get caught in a massive tidal wave, that was merely a metaphor for all there is to fear in real life. I don't usually fear death because I know that I will go to be with Jesus for eternity. But sometimes I do fear what life will bring in the meantime. I could easily get overwhelmed thinking about how the world economic & political situations will affect our family, or the myriad problems could befall my children, or some horrible injury or illness that might plague Thad or me as we age.

And then, mercifully, a counterbalance....

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed;
for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Isaiah 41:10


Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39

I do not need to fear anything or anyone on earth. To fear is to acknowledge that something has a greater power than you do. We should rightfully "fear God" in that sense, because he is sovereign over everything. Even if something else is stronger than I am, he is stronger than that and he loves me. And, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) He is in control no matter what bad things happen. This does not mean I am immune to tragedy. Sometimes I will be in the waves and not on the deck. But he will be there with me.

In all reality, we know several families who are facing multiple simultaneous major life crises (health, finances, family issues, etc.) that I could not imagine enduring. And yet they are overcoming their trials in the grace of God. He is sufficient for them and for me.

I could find more to write, but I sense that is enough for now.
Virginia Knowles

P.S. I wrote a related tidbit, Fear Thou Not, about these verses three years ago and another one, Another Small Note, when I was having a biopsy for possible thyroid cancer five years ago. I trust they will be a blessing to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails