Fear. We all deal with it in varying ways. It takes on different forms and faces in our lives.
I would never describe myself as a fearful person, but I know God has taught me freedom in this, and that forces me to look straight into fear and recognize what it looks like in my life. For me, it is in the small things – the worries, the wonderings. It is anything that keeps me from seeing Him. A few years back, my life verse became Isaiah 26:3 – “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” There is no one more worthy of our trust. There is no one who has proven more faithful.
Why is it then, that I find myself rounding the same corners? Returning to the same worries that have occupied mental space for TOO MANY YEARS? Dare I say it is because I am choosing, in these moments, to allow fear to cloud my vision of my Savior? And so, even today, I get back up, refocus my eyes, silence the thoughts in my head, and put my gaze back on my Father. The reason that Isaiah 26 speaks so loudly to me is that I cannot get around the fact that it is up to me. I need to keep my mind on Him. I am an active participant in the freedom that is offered to me. I am not a victim of the fear that creeps in.
So, practically speaking – how do I rearrange my thoughts so that He is at the forefront, overshadowing all the things that try to distract me from walking in His peace?
ONE DAY AT A TIME. ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME.
I want to laugh at the future without fear (Proverbs 31). Yet, sometimes I find myself so entrenched in worry that I do not even realize that it is clouding my vision. It becomes like goggles, through which I begin to see everything. And it becomes so familiar that I hardly notice it is there. But then that voice screams just a little too loudly and I notice it. Hey, what are you doing back here again? Who invited you to set up camp? You don’t belong here.
And little by little I find myself peeling back the layers. Replacing lies with truth. Reminding myself of what this life with Christ is all about. Freedom. Choices. Life. Joy. Purpose. Obedience. Salvation. If I can just get back to the simple truth that God has me in His hand. His very capable hand. He has not taken His eye off of me, but I have allowed things to take mine off of Him. Psalm 32:8 in the NKJV says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” We have to be looking at Him if we expect Him to guide us with His eye. This does not just speak of Him watching us, but it is the action of GUIDING us. That means we obey. But we wouldn’t know where to go if we were not looking back at Him.
My hope for freedom is that as I grow with Him, as I experience Him in depth and in breadth, that I will begin to more quickly identify when fear is tainting my attitudes, distracting me from the path that He has for me. Even when it just shows up in the form of “worry.” It still doesn’t belong. He is my only hope. He is my light and my song. In Him I find my rest. And in Him is the only way I will one day fulfill that which He has laid out before me.