Thursday, January 24, 2013

When I am afraid, I will trust in you

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

My 12 year old son had surgery today. He is back in his room still pretty out of it at this point. He has talked to me a few times. It is good to be on the other side of this. I have kept it all pretty well together since this accident happened on Sunday afternoon. Bike rides on icy hills are not recommended. I have have had a steady kind of calm through it all. Well except for a bit late last night when everyone was asleep - the week kind hit me like a wave of overwhelm. I am thankful to friends who were praying and calling and sending notes. The love and support has been a wonderful gift of grace.

I think it is ok to acknowledge the fear we are feeling at times. Its not like we have to pretend it does not exist. We do have to keep it in perspective. We serve a God who loves us more than we can begin to imagine. God has to tell a number of bible characters to "fear not". He knows us intimately. He knows the deep deep fears that we are afraid to even give words to. Its not like we need to hide those things from us. I think sometimes we try to hide those fears almost as if they are proof to us that we are cowards, who don't trust God enough. 

So when my own wave of fear hit late last night I had to first recognize it for what it was. I gave myself permission to feel it and to release some of the pent up emotions for just a short time. God's love and care was never in question. I have always had the part of the one who keeps it all together and is the strong one when others are falling apart. I know how to remain calm and carry on. Even so it is ok to stop for a bit and allow myself the chance to feel and process the emotions of a situation. My heavenly father already knows what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling those emotions. Even in the middle of that brief storm he was there holding me. Reminding me of His love through the kindness of so many people in my life. A well timed note from a friend can make all the difference to remind us that God has not forgotten us. 
Psalm 56:3
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.

It says when - not if I am afraid. It is expected that there will be times when we are afraid. I think the bigger question is what will you do with that fear. Will you give up and throw in the towel and succumb to the worst thoughts. Or will you acknowledge the fear and make the choice to trust the Lord in spite of the frightful circumstances that you may find yourself in. 

Yesterday I knew I was afraid. I knew that much of it was irrational. I knew that I could automatically scratch the worst things I could think of right off the list. I knew that no mater how I might be feeling in that instant that God loves me and was looking out for my and the things that concerned me were things that He had already attended to.  To have faith in God does not mean we will not have times when we experience fear. Our faith in God is what moves us past the paralyzing effects of fear and causes us to continue on. To take the next step and the next. It is what causes us to not give up but to carry on knowing that our shepherd leads us even through the darkest valleys.

I got to the place last night where I had to describe how I was feeling as being like walking along a cliff and being for a long time in a state of heightened alertness.  At the same time I also knew I was safely held by the Lord's love and would be belayed to safety if I lost my footing along the way. Much like a climber would traverse an mountain pass. I knew I would get to the other side. I knew I was getting to a point of weariness  I know that God stretches our faith muscle just a little farther than we think is possible. In so doing our faith in Him grows. Much like how our muscles grow when we push them just beyond their natural limits. Any body builder will tell you that muscles grow when we make them do more work. A kind of chemical reaction happens because the cells cry out we need more help. So help is sent and they become stronger. I believe the same thing happens to our faith.

Well I am calling it a day. Hope this will give you enough to chew on for this post.

Prayer: I pray that the Lord will help you. When you do feel afraid that you won't remain there but will take that step of faith to continue to trust and follow the Lord.

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