The past 6 weeks have been intense. Every week there has been something that has happened. From our dear guard dog being purposefully poisoned and killed to being evacuated from Nicaragua because of civil unrest and violence AND everything in between… There has been situation after situation that has sought to discourage and bring me down. But God… But God is faithful.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
In this time there have been several people who have told me how brave I am… Yet I have struggled with this – because I don’t feel brave. I wrestle with fears and anxiety. And then I am reminded how in Scripture we are called to not fear over and over again and the shame starts to rise up. Questions begin to pop up in my mind:
If I say I believe in God why am I so fearful sometimes? Why do I feel so anxious when I know that the Creator of the Universe holds tomorrow in His hands? Do I not trust my Abba Father enough?
Do I have reason to fear? No. God is always in control and loves me and so I don’t have reason to fear. But will I experience fear in this fallen world? Yes. It’s a natural physical response to the fallen world that I live in. Maybe we are told not to fear so many times in Scripture because it is simply that normal in our broken world.
These are the times when I find myself on my knees crying out… I believe please help my unbelief. I trust help my fears. I will follow you help my steps along the way.
It’s where my relationship with Jesus is real. It’s where I end and King Jesus reigns. It’s where even though I am afraid I carry on. It’s where I realize that being brave is not the absence of fears but the walk of trust hand in hand with my Abba Father despite the fears. It’s the continual giving of my fears and insecurities to Him. It’s the rendering of myself into His capable hands and clinging to His promises. It’s accepting His abounding grace for me and remembering how He pursues me and uses the fears I have to draw me closer to Him.
Ann Voskamp wrote, “We may not be fearless but we will be strong and courageous and faithful because our faith in You is greater than the fears in us.”
The beautiful thing about this is that being strong, courageous and faithful isn’t just up to us to muster up the strength to do. But God, in His infinite grace to us has given us Himself through His Spirit to strengthen us so that we can be courageous and faithful.
As we receive His strength we are enabled to be courageous and faithful because He is in us.
Being evacuated from my home in Nicaragua and apart from dear friends, ministry, and my puppy is super tough. Yet, Sweet Jesus has reminded me that it’s not just about me. It’s not just about the English program. It’s not just about Nicaragua. It’s not just about my generation. It’s not just about peace in one situation. It’s about His redemption of His people over all times in all places. It’s His story that He’s already written – that already has the ending etched in stone even though the story is not finished yet.
My fears become smaller as my eyes are opened to the immensity of my dear Abba Father. I am enabled, by His spirit living in me, to step forward in faith despite the fears I feel.
Fear creates opportunities for deeper trust.
What are our fears? Where do they call us to deeper trust even in the uncertainties? Where do we need to ask the Lord to open up our eyes to His grandness so that our fears bow beneath Him? Where are we called to persevere in the face of fear?
May we see King Jesus as greater than our fears. May we receive the Great Counselor’s strength so that we may be courageous and faithful to His call. May we be continually sanctified to be more like Him and rely on His grace in the face of fear. May we give our fears to Him over and over again.
He is who He says He is. He will do what He says He will do. We are who He says we are. We can do what He calls us to do. We can be brave in the face of fears because He lives.
Brave because of Him,