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When I Am Afraid

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My sojourn here seems to have lengthened into a snail crawl over the past ten plus months. The news, the pandemic, and the uncertainty for tomorrow that we all are facing makes one quake in their shoes. I find myself praying more to the Lord about being afraid than I ever have before.

In a couple of weeks, our country will vote to decide who the next President of the United States will be and regardless of who you are voting for, it is a scary thought. Our votes will count for more than the next four years because with each President that is elected, it counts for policies that reach into future generations. I will consider my vote very soberly and pray that I’ve voted according to the will of God, and the candidate that lines up more closely with my Biblical world view.

However, I am afraid. I am afraid because I just don’t know what will happen. Yet, God’s Word assures me that I do not need to be. Again and again, His Word tells me to trust in Him and to leave my anxieties with Him for He is able to bear these burdens of my flesh. The Psalmist wrote:

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” (Psalms 56:3)

Those words from David should bring comfort to me, but my heart is still beating erratically. “Lord, help me to trust You!” “How can I trust You when I am so afraid, Lord?” As I cry out these prayers to the Lord, I remember His pinions and drag my frightened soul beneath them and as a Father does, He wraps them around me and hides me. He beckons me to rest there where I can be safe. As I tremble beneath those sheltering wings, I hear the Holy Spirit speak gently to my soul, “Rest child and trust He who calls you His beloved.”

Still my spirit shakes with fear and I beg Him to show me how. Then more firmly, He says to me, “Child, all that is happening in the world is being carefully sifted through my Holy hands. Do you think that I’ve now abandoned you? Who told you such a thing!?!”

I know well who told me such a thing! I know who places the doubts and fears into my soul. “Oh, Lord, forgive me for listening to the destroyer of this world, please forgive me.”

In Romans, Paul answers my question acutely and firmly:

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39)

In those last two verses, we are told that we can be confident through tribulation and to know that there is nothing that can come in and separate us from Him. What a sweet promise with much certainty for us!

There will be times when we are afraid, but in our fear we are sheltered beneath His pinions where we are secure and nothing can sever us from Him. Mary Sullivan wrote this poem:

Give us wisdom, Lord of mercy.
Confused we are by worldly things.
Instruct us through our days and nights.
Hide us all beneath Your wings.

In You, O Lord, we are at rest.
To our minds, the truth You bring.
Our hearts rejoice, with thoughts of You,
Who keep us safe beneath Your wings.

You are our mighty fortress, Lord.
Our King above all earthly Kings.
Your strong pinions cover us.
We are secure beneath Your wings.

Give wisdom to our loved ones, Lord.
Confused they are by worldly things.
Instruct them in the way of truth.
May they too hide beneath Your wings.

May loved ones turn to You, dear Lord,
Seek You as their only King,
May they ever seek Your will.
Shelter them beneath Your wings.

“He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” (Psalms 91:4)

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