Our world is full of fear. One of the things that creeps me out is our basement, which has a cellar door. It is stinky and dirty; there are spider webs in there, and it’s something I’m not used to dealing with. I’ve never lived in a house with a cellar or a basement before. My plan was to never go in the basement if I could help it. I thought, “I will let Kevin handle all of that . . . he’s not afraid of it.” God has other plans for our fears though! He knows we need to face them. I had to do just that with the basement. A couple of weeks ago I was cooking supper and running the dishwasher at the same time, which is not something I normally do, but I had forgotten to run earlier that day. Forgetfulness is a problem for me. I overloaded the circuit and flipped a breaker. This being a new house, I didn’t know where the breaker box was, so I started searching through the house . . . then it dawned on me, the box is in the basement! Kevin was at work, so if I was going to finish supper at a decent hour, I would have to go into the spooky part of the house and fix it myself. I opened the heavy cellar door, found the light switch, and started my descent into the gloom. Spider webs caught on my arms and I vigorously wiped them away. I just wanted to get to the breaker box, flip the switch and get out of there as fast as possible. I found the breaker box fast enough and then began searching for the correct switch. At last I found it and turned it on! And then I went back upstairs to finish preparing supper. Nothing bad happened to me! I had a normal evening and I don’t even remember what we had for supper that night (back to the forgetfulness).
Many of our fears end that way. Nothing bad happens to us, and life goes on like normal. On the other hand, we have fears that we refuse to face. We are so certain that it will end badly that we run and hide from them. What happened to trusting God? He loves us! He knows all of our fears, and He knows our future. God has a plan for all that we face. We can choose to trust Him and face the fear, or we can choose to run and miss out on the blessing that comes from trusting God and feeling His loving presence with us in the middle of the difficulties. Not all fears that we face will end well from the perspective of earthly comfort and success. Sometimes we face a fear, and it hurts us. We feel as if we will never recover from the pain. Even when we are hurting, God is right there with us. He uses everything for our good when we trust Him in the middle of it. He lets us cry and question, and He comforts us in the pain. Isaiah 41:10 says:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
It seems like our world is becoming more unstable by the day. I am afraid of what is going to happen in our future. I don’t want to face the pain. I’d rather hide until it looks safe again, but I would miss the ways God wants to work in my life. I would miss the joy of overcoming the fear and seeing God’s hand at work in it all. I am working to make Psalm 56:3-4 my heart’s cry:
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?
God is faithful! He will help me in my time of need!