In thinking through my consistent struggle with fear, I have discovered a nagging seed of doubt that consistently grows and bears the fruit of fear. It’s an age-old question, one that many have struggled with – basically, why do bad things happen to good people? I know that being a Christian does not exempt me from suffering or pain, though my life has been relatively free of both. I know that people who are deeply committed to Jesus fall dead of heart attacks, die in car wrecks, have homes knocked down by tornados. And so this knowledge often trumps what I read in God’s Word.
For example, Psalm 91 is full of assurances of the Lord’s presence. The Lord is described as a fortress and a refuge, a God that we can trust in all things, the God who will save us from things that will ensnare us. It says that we will not fear the terror of night or the arrow that flies by day, and that no harm will befall you. When I read that Psalm, I am emboldened. I have the courage to do things that I normally would shrink back from.
But then I remember the bad things that have happened to good people and I feel like it’s silly to trust the Bible at face value. So I read the Bible and in my heart of hearts, I believe, but in my flesh, I hedge my bets, not willing to entrust all of my life to God. At the root of this is my desire to be in control. If I can worry about what might happen, if I can foresee it and then prevent it, then even if God didn’t come through, I would still be OK. For me, fear and worry give the illusion of being in control, which is safer than walking by faith.
My prayer is that I would stop hedging my bets, acknowledging God’s love and His control over all things, and that His word would lead me to greater faith, an anchor in the midst of my ups and downs.