because I will remove from you
your arrogant boasters.
Never again will you be haughty
on my holy hill.
But I will leave within you
the meek and humble.
The remnant of Israel
will trust in the name of the Lord.
They will do no wrong;
they will tell no lies.
A deceitful tongue
will not be found in their mouths.
They will eat and lie down
and no one will make them afraid.” (Zephaniah 3:11-13)
(42/365 days of Fear Not)
What an interesting juxtaposition: being meek and humble and not being afraid.
By the world’s standards this doesn’t seem possible, does it?
It’s usually the other way around. The strong, the boastful, the self-centrics tend to be the ones we think of as courageous, unafraid, unbothered by life.
But, God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not like ours. So, it makes sense that in God’s view, there is no room for the boastful, the arrogant, the haughty, the self-centrics. God’s world view is focused on the meek and the humble. On those who will trust Him, not themselves. On those who recognize and acknowledge their weakness and their need of Him.
When we are able to do that, when we are able to acknowledge our need of God, we will eat and lie down and no one will make us afraid.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a promise I need to hear.
Because I was raised a strong, independent New England Yankee girl who does things for herself. And for a long while, that worked pretty well and I was fairly successful. At least according to the standards that the world sets and by which it measures us and our abilities and our achievements.
But, this way of life is also exhausting.
Perhaps it’s because it is like a game of make believe that never ends. I have to carry my mask everywhere I go and it becomes too heavy to carry let alone hold to my face and hide behind.
But this life as a redeemed New England girl who depends on God and who abides with Christ?
It’s invigorating, even when it’s a difficult struggle according to what the world sees.
These first 40 days of 2015 have been amazing.
My husband and I have struggled well beyond what we have ever experienced in our 14 years together.
Our finances have scraped the bottom of the change barrel more often than I care to recount.
Our circumstances have challenged us beyond what we are able to handle or fix.
But God has been faithful and He has met our every need.
He has not done this at our demand or according to our expectations, but in His perfect timing.
He has met every need and His provision and His grace have sustained us.
And I have been learning, one day, one moment at a time, one abiding moment at a time, that when I trust God, I have nothing to fear.
It is not rational.
It makes no sense.
But it is absolutely true.
And each moment of provision and met need has shown me that I can indeed eat and lie down and nothing and no one, no one, will make me afraid.
And I’ll take that every single time over my own self-centric efforts that lead to nothing but exhaustion.