There has always been a worrier inside of me. A “worst-case-scenario” reel running though my mind. After my dad died, this worry that lived in me, became a full fledged fear. The worst-case scenario had come true. I saw my dad on Sunday and he died on Monday; no warning signs, no sickness, he just died. Someone I loved had died and there was nothing I could do about it.
When my brother called me to tell me the news, I had missed the call at first. I began to ALWAYS need my phone next to me. If I left it somewhere, I would get worried. What if someone called me, what if I needed to call someone, what if, what if…
It became this irrational fear, this all encompassing, paralyzing, debilitating fear that if something bad COULD happen, it probably WOULD happen. My mind would go places and run with these crazy ideas of what could go wrong. A to make it worse, is that I placated myself by thinking that, it was better to think about this stuff ahead of time so that I could be prepared. I thought that if the worst did happen, I would be prepared and know how to react.
Let me back up for a minute – It became an irrational fear. See that key word there? I was being irrational in my fear. That’s kind of a red flag right there. Two things that God does not give us are fear and irrationality.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Right there, in that verse, my irrationality and my fear are directly spoken to. If God gives us a spirit of sound judgement, then we can not be irrational at the same time. If God gives us a spirit of power, then we are NOT powerless. So, if God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness or irrationality, then where does it come from?
You got it – the enemy.
We have an enemy who is seeking to debilitate us – and what better way to do that than by freezing us in our fear? What better way to stop us in our tracks and occupy our minds than making us think irrational and fearful thoughts? I was so consumed with my fears that I wasn’t thinking about many positive things. I was so consumed with my irrational “worst case scenarios” that I was afraid to do anything.
What it all boils down to – is that I wasn’t trusting God. Yikes! That’s not an easy one to admit. It’s one of those things as “Christians” we are just supposed to do, right? “Let go and let God” is one of the phrases that is thrown around a lot and makes it seem like its this easy thing to do.
Well, at least for me, it is a lot easier said than done.
What does that even mean anyway -“Let go and let God”? Let go of control? Let go of fear? Let go of everything?
To me it means, let go of trying to do it yourself. Let God into the situation. Give him permission to help you. God isn’t going to overstep our free will. If we are determined to do it on our own, then he will let us, and it probably won’t go so well. But, if we are willing to allow him into our lives and ask for his help, he will be there.
That’s the tricky part though. Letting go. Trusting him to be there. I know that so often I just want to do everything myself. I want to fix it. I want to do it. Just ask my mom about when I was a toddler – I think my favorite phrase was “by myself.”
But, that is the best part, we DON’T have to do it by ourselves. We have a God and we have a Savior, Jesus, that are willing to help us.
Even Jesus didn’t do it by himself.
I can guarantee that Jesus felt afraid before he died. Why do you think he prayed for God to “take this cup away from me”? (Luke 22:42). He didn’t want to go through all of that. He knew what was going to happen to him, and he knew it wasn’t going to be easy (that is probably the biggest understatement I’ve ever made!)
It was going to be horrible to get accused of something you didn’t do.
It was painful to get beaten and thrown around for hours on end.
It was going to be excruciating to be nailed and hung on a cross.
It was going to be heart-breaking to watch all of his friends and family abandon him.
Jesus knew all of these things, he knew what was going to happen. He had told his disciples about it. He had read it in the scriptures. But, he did it anyway! He did it through his fear. His fear did not stop him from carrying out the thing he was supposed to. His fear did not paralyze him from his goal. He may have felt some fear, but he also had enough trust that he went to God and asked for help. He prayed.
And that right there is my answer. There are going to be times in our lives that we feel fear – and rightly so. Feeling some fear is ok, but allowing that fear to overcome you and stop you from living is not.
There are times when things are hard and painful and downright scary, but this should not stop us from living our lives. It should not stop us from doing the things that God has called us to do.
When we are afraid, we have to trust that God will take care of us. Even if some of that fear remains in us – that’s ok – be afraid, but trust God through it! Put your trust in God and keep going.
“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalms 56:3-4).
This is still something that I struggle with, in a big way, but I’m trying.
I am learning to pray against the enemy and the fear that he has stricken me with. It is not a healthy fear, it is not a productive fear, it is not a Godly fear.
I am learning to stop those “worst-case” thoughts when they enter my mind. I stop them before they get out of control.
I am learning to really trust God.
I am learning to allow him to help me. To ask him for help, and not just when I have already tried to do it myself, but for EVERYTHING!
I am learning to step out of my fear and trust God to walk out right beside me.