Sunday, January 31, 2010

When I Am Afraid

“When I am afraid I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”—Psalm 56: 3-4

What fears are swirling in your mind as you begin your week? Is it the paper that is due in that difficult class? Is it the overwhelming workload left on your desk from Friday afternoon? Is it a difficult conversation with a friend? Is it a hard relationship at home or an uncertain doctor’s appointment? Whatever the fear is, one thing is certain: in the mind of the fearful one, it can seem like an impassable mountain.

David had much to be afraid of when he wrote this Psalm. He was fleeing from Saul, the Philistines had seized him, and he was now in enemy territory. He stares his fears in the face and speaks to them: “What can flesh do to me?”

Sometimes our fears are over genuinely fearful things. Sometimes, though, our fears are over a lack of perceived control. So often my fear is translated as, “I don’t trust your goodness in this situation.” When I was single it was fear that a guy I liked would not like me back and then I would be left single forever. Now that I am married, so many of my fears revolve around the future and my relationship with my husband. What if God doesn’t give me the five children I hope for? What if my husband does not make the decision I want him to make?

Many of us spend so much of the moments of fear immersed in the fears themselves. The Psalmist makes a conscious decision not to do that. Yes, the fears are frightening—sometimes rightly so. But in my own life, I have found that I need to spend a lot less time indulging my fears, and more time giving them to God. He knows the outcome of them anyways.

He holds the outcome, and the circumstances of our fears, in the very palm of his hand. They are not lost to him. He is watching over every detail of every fear that we face—big or small. Because of his work for us we can look at our fears today and say with David, “what can flesh do to me?”

3 comments:

Burkulater said...

Hey! Found your blog...just thought I'd let you know that I love this post. My cousin is at the end of her life right now with cancer...she is fearing so much, and these are some of the very thoughts swirling in my head.

Rachel H. said...

Amen. It is so easy to fall into fearing or worrying about the most minute things. God knows exactly what is going on in our lives. What do we have to fear with Him always by our side? I love Matt 6:25-34. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things." Thank you for these great reminders, Courtney. :)

cdt said...

Burkulater,

Thank you for reading! I always like making new blog friends! :) You were an encouragement to me today. I will keep your cousin in my prayers.

Rachel,

Thanks for your comment. It's nice to see your name come up on the comments!