“I had a bad dream!” My sweet little granddaughter was crying and this Nana ran to the rescue. Even though she had not even been to sleep yet, she was imagining things in the dark and called it a bad dream.
Unfortunately, this will more than likely happen again, even though I told her she had nothing to fear. Telling a child that they don’t have to be afraid is one thing, but telling it to myself and actually believing it is quite another.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
When 2022 began, I chose this verse to focus on for the year. If I could take the time to tell you all of the stories of what this verse has meant to me in the last four months, and how many times I have shared it with someone else, you would be amazed just as I am.
Fear is not something we outgrow. While I might have been afraid of the dark when I was a child, now I tend to relish it. I love the quiet solitude of the early morning. I marvel at the moon and the stars in the darkest of nights, and I treasure my time alone with God as I lay in my bed turning my thoughts to Him in the night hours or early in the morning before the sun comes up.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom should I be afraid?
There’s a reason for fear of the dark. We can’t always see. We are afraid of what might be lurking. We can feel quite alone and vulnerable.
But God is there.
I may have outgrown my fear of the dark at night, but there is a different kind of darkness that lurks just around the corner. In moments of uncertainty or when we let our minds dwell on the open-ended question “what-if”, we often go down a dark path that can lead to all kinds of fear.
Knowing what God says about fear is the key to overcoming it. Yes, I said overcoming it. I didn’t say that we can avoid it or that we change the circumstance that might be causing us fear, but we can learn how to navigate through it by allowing those moments to deepen our faith and to depend on the Lord even more.
A sweet little 3 year-old feels safe in her father’s arms. He says she is safe, and she believes it.
Faith is much the same. When my Father tells me that I don’t have to fear, I can choose to trust Him. Even in the darkest of times, I know that my God is sovereign and that He is in control of it all. He is always awake. He is always vigilant. And He is always present. While life may be difficult–and it will be–we can find rest only when we place those dark times in His loving hands, and look to Him for the peace that only He can give.
Trust Him. Look to the One who gave you life and wants you to walk by faith–not fear.
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.