My struggles with fear continue, and a few weeks ago the weight of fear was more than I could lift. While the thing I was fearing was, by and large, irrational, I couldn’t escape worrying about it. I lost sleep and it dominated my prayer life (and by dominated I mean it squelched it).
The weight of fear is loss of trust in God. When I live in fear, I lose focus on the Lord, and I hedge my bets in trusting His character and His promises. Instead of putting my hope in God’s Word being true, I let my experiences and the experiences of others lead me in mistrust.
The weight of fear is isolation. When I live in fear, I am ashamed because the things I worry about seem so silly if I say them aloud, but to my heart they are real and dangerous. And so I don’t let others in, trying to slug it out on my own instead of asking for help.
The weight of fear is control. When I live in fear I try to control my life, either by worry (which gives the illusion of control) or by ordering my life to be as safe as possible. That is exhausting.
The weight of fear is not from Jesus. He promised that His yoke is easy, that His burden is light. There is a freedom that comes from trusting God even in the face of real (and imagined) dangers.
The world is not a safe place – the brokenness of the fall permeates every corner, and we do not have the luxury of numbering our own days. But God’s love and character and Kingdom supersede the worries and fears and brokenness. Our hope is not here. Our hope is in heaven, and I think that God continues to allow the enemy to attack me with fear to train my eyes to look up, to remember the hope of Heaven, and to trust God, not my circumstances.