Somehow, I imagined I would’ve gotten over the sting of my fears by now. I imagined age and wisdom would make me less fearful. Maybe I’ve outgrown the fears of my youth and I guess I’m more fearless than I used to be, but in all honesty, I still battle fear.
I just have different fears now, is all.
Maybe they don’t come to me in the same way and with the same intensity, but they still come. Sometimes they creep in, like a spider. They start making webs in the corners of my heart. If I don’t keep dusting them with feathers of Truth, I might just end up stuck in the web.
I always thought the longer I walk with God and the more I experience His hand at work in my life, my faith would grow so strong I’d never fear again, but I’ve figured something out in my later years…
Sometimes, fears surface most when I don’t enjoy God enough.
The fears I have now are fears that have come with age…new fears…different fears…like the fear of losing a job…fear of financial decay…fear of a major medical emergency that could bankrupt us…fear of growing old without my husband by my side…
because we recently lost our medical insurance and our new insurance isn’t nearly as nice as before…because as our bodies age we develop new health issues we’ve never had before…because there are new costs of living, including new healthcare costs…
…because it all seems such a mess and I don’t know how in the world anybody anywhere can fix it. It’s like a web that keeps growing and growing and growing.
And sometimes I feel trapped. Stuck. Fearful.
I’m just being honest, but I know I’m not alone. Yes, these are the new fears, the different fears I now lay before the throne of grace.
There’s such a relief that comes to my soul and spirit when I do all I can to meditate on God and His unchanging character all day long, especially the last thing before I go to bed at night. Cause, hey, who doesn’t need a good night’s sleep? I mean, thinking about God is a whole lot better than thinking about my fears. He has this really crazy way of making me smile. Without realizing it, I’m experiencing the joy-thing.
A gladness, to be exact. This is one of those words I love. It means gaiety, mirth, delight…
Seriously, who couldn’t use some gaiety? Some mirth? Some delight? And who could fear when there’s such joy as this to be found in the Lord?!?
This gladness only comes from living in the light of His presence, by focusing–thinking, meditating–on His goodness…
When I focus on what’s vain–things that are worthless, things that are deceitful, things that won’t last–I’ll more often than not focus on fear. No doubt about it. And I do NOT want to be a slave to fear. I don’t want to love what God doesn’t love and fear is the opposite of love. Because fear doesn’t trust.
Instead of getting stuck in the web of deceit–the lie that God cannot keep me safe, cannot deliver me, cannot shower me with lovingkindness–I can focus on His constant nearness, His consistent goodness, His continual gladness.
I can put my head on my pillow at night and rest, safe and secure.
That’s where I long to get stuck. Where I long to dwell. Where I want to rest my head.
That’s my happy place. Not in a web, but a bed.
A bed of stillness, of peace.
I don’t know, but the older I get the more I need my beauty sleep and I kinda like the idea of falling asleep with some mirth in my heart. Who knows? Maybe I even sleep with a smile on my face.
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. verse 1
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. verse 2b
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. verse 4b
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and trust in the Lord. verse 5
Many are saying, ‘Who will show us any good?’ Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! verse 6
You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. verse 7
In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” verse 8, Psalm 4