“When I am afraid,
I will trust in You.”
Psalm 56:3 HCSB
Feeling crushed by enemies too hard for him, David asked God for His free, rich mercy only He can give.
This same David bravely conquered a lion and a bear and the giant Goliath in his youth. Yet now he admits how afraid he is. The enemies who seek to destroy him are relentless in pursuing him.
He didn’t deny the presence of fear in his heart, but he found courage in trusting God to do what could not be done by human power alone.
“He feared, but that fear
did not fill the whole area of his mind,
for he adds, ‘I will trust in Thee.’
It is possible, then, for fear and faith
to occupy the mind at the same moment.”
When painful memories get triggered, panic screams through my veins. I want to run and flee, but my feet feel stuck in quicksand that sucks me down and threatens to swallow me up. Fear fills the whole area of my mind, especially when it hits me without warning. It can be hard to think straight and to remember I can trust Jesus’ outstretched hand of rescue.
I have to talk myself through it. Where is this coming from? Why am I feeling this way? Am I in real danger here, or is it a hyper-sensitive reaction triggered from past painful experiences?
Traumatic events can embed themselves in our brains, and our bodies automatically react when these memories are triggered. We may feel helpless to control it, and it sometimes takes time to talk ourselves through what is real in the present moment. Even as we desperately cry out to Jesus, trusting and believing He is the only One who can and will rescue us, our bodies can be shaking with fear and anxiety. We may feel fear, but that does not mean we have no faith.
I have heard some Christians say fear and faith cannot co-exist, and I figured anyone knows better than I do. So I would beat myself up (and still do sometimes) – “If you can’t face this fear or get rid of fear entirely, you must not have faith.” But God is step by step teaching me that fear and faith can co-exist, and we don’t have to feel shame about the fear that still sometimes lingers on in our hearts and minds.
Jesus keeps loving us no matter what. It’s not about the measure of our love for Him. It’s about His perfect love for us! Even when our faith seems nonexistent or is dim. Even when the thunder of fear makes it hard to hear His voice. Even when we struggle with believing He is with us in the storm. We may waver, but His love never does. No matter where we are, He is whispering, “I’m here, Child. I understand your fears. I catch your tears. I will always love you.”
“Praise You In This Storm”
by Casting Crowns