What are you most afraid of today?
When life is uncertain and you become fearful about the future, what should you do? God invites you to take your fears to him so he can calm your heart.
You can’t avoid the pain life has to offer, but you can endure whatever comes your way because God will be with you. He knows how you feel and what you need. He will either calm the storm by his amazing power or calm your anxiety and hold you close as all hell rages around you.
Many people turn to other substitutes when they are afraid–alcohol, mind-numbing drugs, sex, spending sprees–while others resist God and rely on their own self-sufficiency to get by.
Max Lucado rewrote Psalm 23 for the self-reliant person:
“I am my own shepherd. I am always in need.
I stumble from mall to mall and shrink to shrink, seeking relief but never finding it.
I creep through the valley of the shadow of death and fall apart.
I fear everything from pesticides to power lines and I’m starting to act like my mother.
I go down to the weekly staff meeting and am surrounded by enemies.
I go home and even my goldfish scowls at me.
I anoint my headache with extra-strength Tylenol.
My Jack Daniel’s runneth over.
Surely misery and misfortune will follow me, and I will live in self-doubt for the rest of my lonely life.”
How about you? Who or what do you turn to when you are afraid? David wrote in Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”
Max Lucado writes, “Counselors can comfort you in the storm, but you need a God who can still the storm. Friends can hold your hand at your deathbed, but you need a Yahweh who has defeated the grave. Philosophers can debate the meaning of life, but you need a Lord who can declare the meaning of life.”
When you are immobilized by fear, and terror grips the depth of your soul, fix your gaze on him whose perfect love casts out fear. Linger in his presence until your anxiety turns into confident joy that shines through your tears.
Don’t be discouraged when you tremble and cry. God does not expect you to act like you have it all together, but he invites you to come to him for comfort and strength.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)
Lucado writes, “You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm. You have everything you need.”
The next time you find yourself terrorized by fear and intimidated by the unknown, turn around and run as fast as you can into the arms of your Shepherd, the Father who loves you.
He will stand between you and your fear. When you look toward the future, you will see his strong shoulders to carry your heavy load, and his open arms of love which will carry you safely home.
Copyright © 2001, 2013 Brenda Branson