Tomorrow would be a busy day and I should have been sound asleep. Instead, I lay awake in our hotel room, thinking. No, the right word is worrying. The special occasion was the wedding of our daughter’s best friend. The wedding party, including our daughter and son, were out having some fun before the big day. That sounds innocent enough, but I envisioned recklessness, with some of the party getting hurt on the way back to the hotel. I thought of all that could happen to these young people, not remembering the Lord’s faithfulness in their daily walk. Fear kept me awake.
Fear paralyzes—emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Is there a remedy? Only one. Trust. And that rests on how worthy is the person in whom we put our trust. For Christians, trust rests ultimately in God’s character. But how does one get from fear to faith? A simple formula begins with increased knowledge about the character of God.
A bit simplistic? You were expecting something complicated? But this is how the Lord has moved me from fear to faith—through some difficult times.
The formula may be simple; however, the process has not been easy. Why we tend to learn our faith lessons the hard way, I don’t know, but most of us do. My struggles are different only in kind from those you have experienced, yet the process and lessons are similar. Psychological or medical discussions of fear have not satisfied me. Through my experiences with fear, I have learned much about God and myself.
A frequent source of fear is change. Few things in life are certain. Our best-laid plans often become a shuffleboard. Just looking through a photo album reminds us of changes in age, places, and relationships. For several years fear accompanied the changes in my life.
Having lived in Wilmore, Kentucky, for 16 years, Bill and I moved to Greenwood, Indiana. Our two oldest sons were married, our youngest son was in college and our daughter lived with us and would soon find work cooking in a specialty restaurant. The first couple of months in Greenwood proved to be quite an adjustment. I liked my job and my associates were friendly and supportive. However, I was having trouble dealing with my emotions; they were too near the surface. I sought medical help, but the medication simply canceled my emotions. I couldn’t get a handle on the problem. Time and again I walked myself through the 139th Psalm: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts” (v.23). In other words, Lord, tell me what the matter is.
One day as I drove the car into the garage, returning from the grocery, I locked the garage door and fumbled for my keys to unlock the house. I thought, “My, how I hate to lock and unlock everything.” It hit me: my problem was lack of security. Now I could deal with it. My biggest need was trust. A short time later I knew I’d begun to learn my lesson.
Our daughter would often come home late from the restaurant after we’d gone to bed. One morning I opened the front door to get the newspaper. There was her set of keys with the house key still in the lock. Instead of being upset, I laughed out loud, and said, “Thank you, Lord.” It was a beginning.
To be continued . . .