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If Blank, Then God.

March 24, 2009

We talked about fear in today’s study of Esther, and as I drove home this afternoon, I couldn’t help but reflect on what a powerful force it is in our lives. It’s not something I’ve ever really processed before…in fact, I would probably state that I am not fearful ninety percent of the time, but I have found myself bound by the crippling force of this emotion from time to time. Curiously, I am bound now.

 

I live with the fear that everything good in my life will be taken away from me. The fear explodes on me every now and then with a painful throb of adrenaline in my chest. I look around and I think, “Everything’s going well. Everyone’s healthy. I feel secure. Why?” and just as suddenly as that, the security is vanished, replaced by an anxiety that takes a while to be lulled back into complacency.

 

I have friends, good friends, who have experienced such traumas in their lives, that I can’t help wondering when the other shoe is going to drop for me. It’s not fair that one’s baby, anticipated with such longing, was born with holes in her little heart that led to multiple surgeries, including a kidney transplant. It’s not fair that another’s husband was unfaithful and unreliable, subsequently ripping apart the fabric of their marriage. It’s not fair that another’s six-year old child was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and battles a barrage of medical onslaught that would cause the strongest of us to faint with exhaustion. It’s not fair that another struggles without a job to help lend support to his family. It’s not fair that while all of these things are happening around me, we’re okay. We’re blessed, even—with things both tangible and not. Blessed with children that are strong and healthy, the ability to share smiles and jokes, food on the table, crazy-busy days that never seem to end soon enough, and just enough of everything we need.

 

Yes, we are blessed, and because of that, I am fearful now and again that something I do or say will cause those blessings to be ripped away. It’s like that line in Casting Crowns “East to West” when he sings “I feel like I’m just one mistake away, from you leaving me this way.” Intellectually, I know that God doesn’t do that. He’s promised his children in Jeremiah 29:11 that he has plans for them, plans to give them a future and a hope. I trust in that. I do. It’s just that…it hasn’t been my turn to suffer yet, as others have. Maybe it isn’t necessary that I suffer to see God’s will for my life accomplished. I truly hope not.

 

Beth Moore had a wonderful, encouraging outlook on fear such as this. She said to write the following sentence:

 

If                                                         , then                                      .

 

What do you fear most? What’s the worse thing you can think of happening? (I just told you mine.) If that were to happen, then WHAT? It’s your response to that second blank that is the most telling. What do you do when your life falls apart, seized by your greatest fear? I personally feel like there’s only one thing to do: pray. Be with God. Rest on His promises, His assurances. Trust in Him. If blank, then God. Period.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 7:13 pm

    Lori:

    You might also remember that most people’s idea of a worst case scenario is death, without admitting that well over 95 percent of us eventually die. So what’s the second worst-case scenario? We don’t die. That would truly be awful. Leaving what? The simple truth that we go on, do what we can and the earth is as it should be. Can’t get much better than that.

    Dan

  2. hintonrae permalink*
    March 25, 2009 7:29 pm

    That’s very true. Because of my faith in a promise made, though, neither the thought of death or eternity lived would be a fear realized for me.

  3. Tony permalink
    March 27, 2009 2:52 pm

    Hey Lori,

    I notice that you state you have nothing to complain about yet you feel like the other shoe is going to fall on you. Have you thought that just maybe God has put a hedge of protection around you and your family so that you could be a prayer warrior, I love that term, and pray fervently for these needs that you see? I believe that is the call for some people, to notice what others do not see and pray for those needs.

    Just a thought.

    Tony

  4. hintonrae permalink*
    March 28, 2009 9:38 am

    Tony, I love your wisdom. I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms, but that it is a lovely way to consider our blessings and the reasons for them when we feel so unlikely and so unworthy. Thanks.

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