I woke up around 4:00AM filled with fear and so many “what ifs,” immediately I started speaking the word of God over myself.
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
So, I said these verses to myself over and over again but my heart wasn’t changing. I still felt afraid and consumed with worry.
A little background. A few days ago, I took a leap of faith and literally started a new life. So right now, I am unemployed and no longer live with my parents. I didn’t expect this transition to be easy by any means but I also didn’t anticipate any sleepless nights. I was so full of faith that God was or IS going to come through and soon. So this is my first night since the decision that I have actually been paralyzed by fear.
As I said, I was speaking the word of God over myself but again, my heart wasn’t changing and I still felt fearful and doubtful. Hear me, my feelings don’t make the word of God a lie, that isn’t what I am trying to communicate. The word of God is true and it accomplishes what it has been sent to do, we may or may not see it. This morning, I couldn’t see it or feel it.
Something different than what I am used to happened. Usually when I feel afraid, I would feel guilty about it because it made feel like I didn’t trust God to come through like He’s said He would. But today, I felt no guilt.
I’ve been reading the gospel of Matthew for the Lenten season and what stood out to me concerning this present issue is how we serve a God that was fully human in the person of Jesus who felt fear. It doesn’t specifically use the word fear to describe Jesus, but we can infer that when He was praying at the Garden of Gethsemane, He felt fear because He literally begged God to take away the cup: the pain, anguish and shame he was about to experience. He was afraid. If He wasn’t He wouldn’t have pleaded with His father to deliver Him. He didn’t go into to his death with full vim, he cried and prayed.
I think sometimes we forget that we have a God that sympathizes or suffers with us, at least I do. And so we feel as though we have to face any challenge without doubt, fear and tears. But these things are normal, but we do not allow it to consume us, because something extraordinary happens on the third day. We do not have to pretend we know it all or have it all figured out. Yes we need to literally suffocate fear and not give it life, but we also need to be honest. In our honesty, God meets us and calms our fears. When we pretend, we do not give God room to change and fix our heart.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15
Jesus, has gone through it!! Even worse than we could ever imagine or go through ourselves. So we can be rest assured that we do not have to hide anything from Him. I don’t know about you, but this gives me freedom to feel all the feels.
a prayer (you can say it out loud)
Thank You God for the gift of Your word. I confess that I am fearful at times, but I also confess that You are Almighty. Thank You for the freedom You’ve given me to come to You boldly with everything I feel and I am even more thankful that You completely understand. Amen
Do you struggle with fear too?