When Fear Overtakes Us

I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. It is easy to let fear overtake us. To let it engulf us in the horrible pit of the “might be’s” of life. I can’t watch the news very much, because I will start thinking the worst case scenario about what could happen to my children.

We’re afraid of predators.

We’re afraid of chemicals in our food.

We’re afraid we haven’t spent enough quality time with our children.

We’re afraid we haven’t given our children enough opportunities.

We’re afraid we will miss an opportunity.

We’re afraid of a possible bad outcome, so we bypass opportunities.

We’re afraid of the next step.

We’re afraid of what others think.

We’re afraid of what we think of ourselves.

We’re afraid to be vulnerable.

We’re afraid to be confident.

We’re afraid of the choices our kids make. Or will make.

We’re afraid of living.

We’re afraid of dying.

Fear is a common thread in our lives. It is an understandable fear if we are trying to run our own lives. I think that we all understand, even the most self-sufficient of us, that there will be a time when things spiral outside of our control. Things happen that we didn’t intend: Our children make poor choices and have to suffer the consequences. We unexpectedly lose a job. Sickness hits our family.

But for those of us that understand that a Sovereign God is ruling the world, there should not be fear. God holds the universe in His hands. He holds the kings and leaders of our world in His hand. He even knows when a tiny sparrow falls to the ground. Nothing will happen to me or my children that God did not allow.

Does that mean I just wipe my hands and not try to protect my children and make wise choices. Of course not. God uses our choices and decisions. But in the end I have to trust. In the end, I can trust. Because I know who holds the world in His hands.

We sing a song often with our kids. It is straight from Scripture.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 56:4-5

 

We sing it during our “Bible time.” We sing it when the kids are afraid of the dark. We teach them that God is the one we put our trust in. (The song comes from this CD, which is an excellent way to teach children Scripture as each song is straight Scripture verses).

And, I find myself singing it to myself. When I can sense that fear is getting ready to engulf me. When I am afraid for my kids. When I start thinking “what if…” I must put my trust in a Sovereign, loving Savior.

Because He tells me, that when I am afraid, I can trust in Him. So I trust.

Comments

  1. AMEN! Fear can completely incapacitate (sp?) me when I get my eyes off God and on myself or the surrounding circumstances. But when I preach to myself the truths you just wrote about, there is amazing freedom to live and move and love and rest because of the One who is controlling every detail of the world and my little life! I needed that reminder today b/c I have many things piling up on me and fear could easily take over and cause me to shut down. But, praise God that I can TRUST and keep going :-) Thanks again, dear friend!

  2. I just heard a wonderful talk this weekend about how easy it is to parent our kids out of fear. I’m grateful for this bonus reminder here!

    • Parenting out of fear…oh so guilty of that. Thanks for the phrase, though…that is actually really helpful food for thought.

  3. You could repost this every day for the next few years and it wouldn’t get old! The “fear fight” is a daily (and some days a losing) one. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • I know, right? I think we moms must be especially vulnerable. I can totally paralyze myself when I don’t have the right perspective.

  4. I struggle with fear (which leads to worry!) myself and I know it is when my focus is turned inward or outward instead of upward to the One Who is not only in control of the entire Universe, but also my life; what a comfort to know the Lord is very aware of all that I am going through now and knows what I will face in the future! I’ve also been challenged recently over this thought and fact: if I can trust Him for my salvation (and I do!) then how can I not trust Him for everything else including each time I am afraid?

    Thanks for this great reminder and your encouraging words of truth.

    • Yes, I know it in my head, and yet it is so easy to focus inward like you said. I’m writing this to myself as much as anything:)

  5. Thank you for this excellent reminder to cast my cares on the Lord. I have certainly lost countless hours of my life to fear and worry, especially when it comes to my children. I am so thankful to have the gift of peace (of mind) that can only be found through Christ.

    • I can’t even tell you how many nights I have laid awake with fear and worry. Thankful to be learning to trust!

      Thanks for commenting, Sarah. :)

  6. Your list of potential fears is a great visual reminder that we can always find something else to be afraid of. No matter how hard we work, no matter how secure we think we are, no matter what, the potential things to fear are endless. We can’t work our way out of fear; we can only trust our way out.

    • Endless…exactly. And I appreciated your recent post on this verse and take encouragement that my kids will indeed remember the verse when they are older. :)

  7. aunt Karen says:

    Very good post, especially this week when our family could still be feeling fearful. We are concerned about Grandma. She is concerned about feeling alone and about how she will live her life now. We can help by remembering her with cards and calls but in the end only God can be with her at all times to take away loneliness and fear.

    • Yes, we are praying that God will be very close to Grandma in the days ahead as she adjusts to life without Grandpa. I can’t imagine how lonely she is after 62 years of being together.

  8. Elva Farrell says:

    I’m getting caught up on your blog after being at conference this week. :) I really needed this, right now!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write your thoughts.

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