Put your fears in their place: behind God
Dear great and all-powerful God,
You alone control everything,
including the things that cause me to fear.
Strengthen me as I strive to put fear where it belongs:
shadowed by a greater trust in You.
In the name of Christ Jesus, Amen.
1 Samuel 16-17
God’s people, the Israelites, let their fear freeze them to the spot. The Philistines—and especially the giant, Goliath—appeared invincible. The situation seemed impossible. Then, enters a small shepherd boy named David. He was small and so were his weapons: only 5 stones and a slingshot. But his God was great and more powerful than any challenge. David’s faith in God put any fear he might have had in the shadows behind him.
“Don’t expect much,” the doctor said.
The plethora of Mark’s unique medical, developmental and physical special needs were genetic. There was nothing that could be done to fix any of them. Science had come far enough to identify the reasons why. But not far enough yet to actually help with any of the challenges.
I bounced our newly adopted toddler up and down on my knee as I let the doctor’s words sink in. But I was careful to keep Mark facing forward. I didn’t want him to see the tears welling up in my eyes. I was fighting them back as hard as I could. But I was slowly losing.
I wasn’t naive. I knew as well as the doctor did—maybe even better—that there was a lot of things wrong. I wasn’t unreasonable either. I didn’t expect things to get better overnight. In a lot of ways, I didn’t expect things to get better overall. I was just hoping for a little direction, some guidance, on exactly how to best navigate and care for Mark’s special needs.
But there was just one problem… The combination of issues locked inside the genetics of this little boy had never been identified before. We would literally be walking a path where no one had gone before. And that is most definitely a scary and incredibly lonely place to be.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, shifted Mark to my hip and shook the doctor’s hand.
I was grateful at that very moment that despite being nearly 4 years old, Mark still wasn’t talking. I don’t know if I could have answered any questions he had. But then again, he didn’t have to speak. The look on his face said it all. He knew I was upset.
“Don’t worry, Honey!” I said as I buckled him into his car seat. “Momma’s okay. Just a lot to think about…”
The entire drive home I battled my own thoughts. And even now—over 7 years later—I still find myself having to battle my fears.
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Proverbs 29:25 (ESV)
Our fear is not bigger than our God. God is always in control (Psalm 135:6) and He will always work all things for good (Romans 8:28)—even when we fail to see how.
Recall a time when fear threatened to cripple you in the past. Remember the specific ways God was faithful to bring you through it. Cling to this. Trust God’s track record enough to let go of your fear.