When I first came to Christ, I thought that being a Christian would mean protection from the calamities of life. I was chosen, washed, sealed, and hidden in the pavilion of God most high. No weapon formed against me would ever strike me down.
Perhaps you thought the same.
Or, perhaps you knew that the world is full of unpredictable losses, astonishing storms, and devastating diseases. Perhaps you were prepared, sure that in the face of fear, you and your faith would overcome.
In the darkness
As a young Christian, I learned fear’s a sin. Something to be rebuked, or repented of. I’d love to say that worked, and sometimes it did. But when the fear’s huge, we need more that our own fierce denial. We need truth.
In one particularly terrifying experience, I faced the very real possibility of extreme loss. It was like walking into the teeth of a hurricane without even a tree to cling to.
We confess our fear
Yes, I tried to ignore it. Deny it. Proclaim against it. But nothing worked. The fact is, I was terrified.
Just before the storm hit, I faced my fears head-on.
“I found a large piece of white board, took out my markers and colored pencils and went to work. I covered the sheet with pencil drawn faces; eyes looking straight at me, some full of fear, some resolve.” ~ Why God Calls us to Dangerous Places pg. 15
Just like David
The psalmist tells this story and I do so love the Psalms. David, a man after God’s own heart, cried out from the depths of his being:
“O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us. You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters. You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.” ~ Psalm 60:1-3
We listen for God’s response
I can only imagine the depth of emotion stirring within David. If he had stopped there, we would be without hope. But he didn’t. In the place of suffering, David turn to God.
“You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow.” Selah Psalm 60:4
And speak his truth to our souls
I didn’t remember this Psalm the day I faced my fear. Looking back, though, I could see. God led me to his banner.
“Then, with magic marker, I began writing the names of God, first in the backward looping characters of the Dari alphabet, then in the boxier characters of my own English. Khuda Qaderi Mutlack, all powerful God, Master of the universe, Lover of my soul. I wrote until there was no more space, and in the writing, began to find peace.” ~ Why God Calls us to Dangerous Places pg. 15
…In hurricanes and floods,
…In heartbreaking diagnoses,
…In expectations of unemployment,
…In fear of war,
…In all the dark places we enter,
We declare God’s truth to our frightened souls. And in him, we find peace.