Trusting God Despite Fear
By Lisa Whittle, She Speaks! Graduate
“But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NLT)
The beach is one of my favorite places. I love the water. I love to hear its mighty roar as it crashes onto shore. And I love to watch my children play in it, laughing and splashing while they try to “outrun” the waves.
Several years ago, my husband and I took Graham, our only child at the time, to the beach for a few days. He was excited to get there and play, and I was anxious to rest my eight-months-pregnant feet on the soft sand while my husband and child got some daddy-son time. I had only watched them for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep in my brightly-colored beach chair. I didn’t see the events of the next few minutes, but my husband remembers them quite vividly.
This beach was right on an intracoastal water way. Enormous cargo boats would pass by at a certain point everyday. For a two-year-old child, the “great big boat” was possibly the neatest thing he had ever seen in his young life. Graham was ecstatic. “Look , Daddy,” he said. “See the big boat?” “Yes, buddy. I see it.” My husband was thrilled to share the moment with his awestruck son.
Pretty soon, my husband noticed the undertow was starting to pull them out farther than he felt comfortable going. The power of the big boat had made quite an impact on the ocean water. While Graham continued to splash, my husband became afraid.
“Let’s go back in, closer to Mommy, okay?” His anxiety was intensifying as the subtle tug of water got stronger. As a young naïve child, Graham was oblivious to these concerns. Soon Daddy’s words became more commanding. “Come on, big guy. It’s time to go in now. Hold on to me, and I’ll carry you back to the shore.” He scooped up our son. With his little arms wrapped around daddy’s neck, Graham was holding on to his dad, and his daddy was holding on to him.
Life is unpredictable and dangers loom closer than we sometimes think. Undertows can sweep our feet from under us without warning at any time. But our God is ready, willing, and able to scoop us up into His mighty arms and carry us to a place of shelter, safety and ultimate security. He is our source, the only one we need, to rid us of all our deep anxieties and concerns. We must rely on him, and him alone, to save us.
I learned a verse when I was a young child: “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” It started out as one of the weekly verses my mother made me memorize to get a star on my “good behavior chart.” But over the years, Psalm 56:3 came to mean so much more.
As a child, I would recall this verse when I felt scared of the dark or if I’d had a bad dream. I said it when I thought I heard a noise or if I imagined a “bad guy” in my room. It helped me go back to sleep feeling less afraid. With years of life now under my belt and young children of my own, I am still quoting this verse. Gone are the days of the boogeyman but I still get scared. I get scared about my health, my children, and what tomorrow holds. When I do, I recite those ten precious and inspired words that seem as though they were written just for me. They help me to be less afraid when the darkness comes.
When you are facing your fear, whatever it is, God is asking you to hold on to Him. He in turn will hold on to you, and nothing will ever come between you.
Dear Lord, help me know You are near during those times I am afraid. I pray I will trust You when life sweeps me up in its undertow and threatens to harm me. May I learn to place my life in Your capable and strong hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Seven Hardest Things God Asks a Woman To Do by Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle
Submit yourself to the scrutiny of the Lord and ask Him to show you the areas of your life that are controlled by fear. Write them down and pray over each one, claiming the victory in your life by the power of God over each and every area.
Do I believe that God can be trusted with my life?
Do I believe He can help me overcome my fears?
Am I willing to relinquish control over the areas that concern me?
Isaiah 12:2, “See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid.” (NLT)
1 John 4:18, “But perfect love expels all fear...” (NLT)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 16 May 2007.