Girlfriends in God - Jan. 16, 2009

January 16, 2009 
The Undertow of Fear 
 Lisa Whittle

I hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Lisa Whittle.

Today’s Truth 
“But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NLT)

Friend To Friend 
The beach is one of my favorite places on earth to be. I don’t like the sand so much, especially now with three small children and all they can do with it, but I love the water. I love to hear its mighty roar as it crashes onto shore. I love to watch my children play in it, laughing and splashing while they try to “outrun” the waves.

Several years ago, my husband, Scott, 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.

The beach we were visiting was right on an intercostals water way. The enormous cargo boats would pass by at a certain point everyday. And 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. “Wook, Daddy!” he said. “See the big boat?  My husband smiled as he replied, “Yes, buddy. I see it.”  He was thrilled to share the moment with his awestruck son.

Scott soon noticed that the undertow was starting to pull them out a little 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 play, 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. Soon Daddy’s words became 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”.  Graham then wrapped his arms around my husband’s neck.  He was holding on to his daddy, and his daddy was holding on to him. Nothing or no one could have come between them.

Life is unpredictable, and dangers loom closer than we sometimes think. Undertows can sweep our feet from under us without warning. But our God is ready, willing, and able to scoop us up into His arms, 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 put my trust in you.” It started out as just one of my 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 whenever I was scared of the dark or had a bad dream. I said it when 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 under the bed, but I still get scared. I get scared about my health. I get scared for my children. I get scared about what tomorrow holds. And when I do, I recite those eleven precious and inspired words that seem as though they were written just for me. They help me not to be so 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 and no one will ever come between you.

(*Excerpt taken from “The Seven Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do”)

Let’s Pray  
Oh Lord, help me know You are near during those times I am afraid.  I pray that 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, 

Now It’s Your Turn  
1)      Submit yourself to the scrutiny of the Lord and ask him to show you the areas of your life that are controlled by fear. 

2)      Write them down and pray over each one, claiming the victory in your life by the power of God over every area.   

More From The Girlfriends 
Trust is a big issue for most women.  Whether or not we have been taken advantage of, stepped on, betrayed or belittled, we have a difficult time making ourselves completely vulnerable with others.  We need to take inventory of our soul and make sure we truly believe that God can be trusted with our life.  In order to overcome our fears, we must be willing to relinquish control over the areas that concern us.

For more on this topic, see…

The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do by Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle (Shepherd Press, 2007) 
Behind Those Eyes: What’s Really Going on inside the Souls of Women by Lisa Whittle (Thomas Nelson, 2008) 

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Originally published Friday, 16 January 2009.