I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4 NLT)

Fear NotYou know what I tend to forget when I’m afraid? That God cares deeply and intimately about me and that He knows the wrestlings of my heart and mind.

I forget to pray.

I forget to abide in Him and let Him infuse my every breath with His hope.

I forget that I don’t have to face my fears alone.

I forget I don’t have to carry my burdens by myself.

I forget that it’s okay to give up. To give up my fears, my worries, my burdens.

It doesn’t matter the burdens, God welcomes them. In fact, He urges me to give them to Him: to lay them down or to cast them on Him or to throw them into His waiting hands. To give them up.

I believe it brings Him joy when we do this.

I believe He stands at the ready, waiting on us to heed His words. Waiting on us to take Him at His Word.

I read the words of that verse from Psalm 34 and I pause. I get still and quiet and I pray, whispers of cares and concerns and worries and fears rising from my heart to His.

I tell Him about the brakes that need to be replaced in our car.

I tell Him about the court date that is fast approaching.

I tell Him about the mold in our rental house and that we need a healthy environment.

I tell Him about my little girl who is not quite herself and I don’t know the cause or what to do.

I tell Him about expenses that are too great for the money coming in.

I tell Him what He already knows.

In part, I tell Him because He already knows.

He already knows my heart with all its burdens, but He also already knows what needs to happen in the circumstances of my life. And if I will be faithful, if I will remain in Him, He will reveal to me what I need. If I will remain in Him, I can live boldly and without fear.

I realized recently that I have lived with fear for so long that it seems normal. Does that make sense? Maybe you’ve done the same thing. Maybe you’ve held worry or fear or uncertainty or doubt so tightly that you don’t recognize it for what it is any longer. You don’t recognize or realize the burden it is or the limitations it creates or the joy it steals. I know I sure hadn’t.

And the world certainly doesn’t tell us any differently, does it? The words and mantras and news stories that flood the space around us tend to be frequent reminders that life is hard, that life isn’t fair, that people are mean, that people are selfish.

Let’s face it. The world is a broken, hurting, imperfect place. And that brings with it a whole lot of things to worry about or be afraid of.

But that’s not what God is all about.

He invites us to trade in our fear for freedom, to trade in our worry for hope, to trade in our limitations for blessings.

I don’t know about you, but I have a laundry list (and then some) of things that can keep me preoccupied if I let them.

But I have a choice.

It’s easy to forget, but I have a choice.

I don’t have to be afraid.

God knows I don’t have to be afraid.

God knows I am afraid and so He calls to me, a whisper that weaves through the worries.

Here, let Me, He says. Let Me take those for you.

And so for today, for this moment, I do.

In this moment, this moment, I choose to throw each worrisome, fearful, scary, preoccupying thought into His waiting hands.

And I’ll choose to do it again and again and again because I prayed to the Lord and He answered me. Here, let Me take those for you.

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