I’ve lived for over 53 years…I thought I had seen it all.
I remember clearly the images of the Vietnam war on the news each night. I remember practicing “emergency drills” in my early elementary years, where we would hide under our desks and put our head between our knees in case there was a tornado or some kind of threat. I remember that sick uneasy feeling in my stomach when I heard preacher’s say that the Communist’s were going to overtake America and that they would kill all Christians. I remember growing up in the “Cold War” when the threat of nuclear war seemed inevitable.
Most of all… I remember 9/11 and the fear it instilled in me. Not fear for myself but of the fear for my children and grandchildren.
I thought I saw it all but to be honest, I’ve never seen a time when fear is so dominant in our lives than it is today. This week I’ve watched as radical Muslims have killed hundreds in Iraq. I’ve watched as fear begins to rise in the cultures of the world….fear of man, fear of economic crisis, fear of disease. It seems as if most of our life we are fighting fear.
Fear is in the very air we breathe.
No one is immune to the temptation to fear. We are surrounded by the opportunities to fear. Companies downsizing, layoffs all around, economies is crisis, Ebola spreading…..shall I go on? Fears are abundant!
As much as I want to say we are in unprecedented times… I really can’t. This is nothing new.
King David lived in days when his very life was often on the line. He found himself, more than once, running for his life. Fear was part of his reality too, but he made choices to deal with the fears.
This Psalm is one of them.
O God, have mercy on me, for people are hounding me. My foes attack me all day long. I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56
In verse 3 he writes, “but when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” David never said he didn’t fear or that fear wasn’t real for him. He gave us his choice when fears arrive. When I am afraid I will put my trust in you. What a profound and rich statement of faith. When all I see around me is an opportunity to fear I will choose to trust the God who loves me.
So what is your choice when fear comes, because it will.
What do you do?
Do you fret, get anxious, drink too much, pace the floor, take a sedative, panic! What do you do? It’s a choice you know.
Fear will come, what will you do when it arrives?
David said, “When I am afraid I will put my trust in YOU!”
What will you choose?