Finding Peace in the Face of Fear
I've not counted personally, but Google says "fear not" occurs 365 times in the Bible. That's a daily reminder to not be afraid (unless it's leap year, and then I guess that's the one day every four years you can be afraid, because every now and then, we can't help being afraid because well, we're humans).
My favourite "fear not" is the one delivered to Mary when Gabriel showed up and was like " Oh, don't be afraid! Hi Mary, I'm an Angel of the Lord, and you're going to have a baby by God, and He's going to save the world!" (Luke 1:30, paraphrase by me)
I wish I was as graceful as Mary when the world goes crazy, but truthfully, I am not. I know, I know, God is my stronghold, and the very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1-2), BUT sometimes this human heart gets the best of me. I become one of those "fair weathers" and leave God on some bookshelf to collect dust, until things are going right again, and I can praise Him after I'm through the storm.
Let's get personal:
A few weeks ago, I walked into a doctor’s office and requested a pregnancy test along with my checkup. I was excited in asking, because I couldn’t wait to go home and tell my husband in some cool Instagram way that we were going to be parents!
The doctor returned a bit solemnly with the results, and told me that, although I had missed a few months of my period, I was not pregnant. Doc started talking about options, and running tests, because something wasn’t working in my body. I kept my chin high and laughed a bit, of course I’m not pregnant! We’re not ready to be parents, I mean for goodness sake we were newlyweds!
I left, and my hands began shaking around the steering wheel, and tears started falling before my brain could catch up to my heart’s overflowing feelings. Something was (is) wrong with me, and one of my biggest fears was unveiling around me. I may not be able to carry children.
I let pain sink around me. I let the fear overtake my body, and I let the tears fall. God, being the best Daddy, wrapped me in His arms. He knew the aching of my heart, like He knew Hannah’s (1 Samuel 2). He scooped me up in that dizzy whirlwind feeling, and whispered, “Fear Not.”
Usually, when I allow fears to consume me, I end up crying. I call my mom. I yell at my husband, because he doesn’t seem to understand. I try to be tough, and act like I am much stronger than I am. Finally, when I remember who my Daddy is, I fall on my knees and cry to Him.
This time He told me to not let this fear win, and to not allow Satan to use this fear against me and keep me quiet. So, in this fear, I shared with my closest friends, who immediately lifted me up in prayer. (God had prepared this tribe for me a long time ago, thankfully.)
When I draw near to Him, I find my fears are not that big, and I am not as alone in my fears as I thought myself to be.
Living a life of fear and worry is exhausting, and truthfully, it’s not God honouring, because He wants so deeply to carry our burdens, and trust in Him. What does it look like to truly trust in the Lord, and to “cast our fears” and troubles onto Him?
God shares His big Fatherly heart all throughout Matthew, and tells His children to come to Him when they are tired (when WE are tired) and “heavy laden”, and He will give us rest. Rest and peace in times of trouble is virtually earth shattering to achieve, but the Lord stands firm on His promises. Imagine carrying your deepest fear, and being wrapped in peace. It’s humanly unthinkable, and that’s why we need God to surpass our human fears.
He says to look at the birds of the sky and fields, and how beautiful and well-taken care of they are, and then look at what He created in His image! (Matthew 6). Why would God care for the birds any less than He would care for His children?
Draw near to Him, He’s really is a good Father.
Fear not, because the Lord has already overcome the world (John 16.33)
WRITTEN BY: SAMANTHA MERCEDEZ
Samantha Mercedez is an Arkansas Tech University graduate, who is head of the Demand Writing Department for an injury law firm in Charleston, SC.
She's recently married, and mom to one Cat, and loves local coffee shops and road trips -- (while listening to too much 90's music).