Fear not, for I am with you;
The first part of Isaiah 41:10 opens up with these very reaffirming words, fear not. As someone who has dealt with a form of anxiety for the better part of his life, I should take great comfort in this. To not do so would seem to speak to a lack of faith would it not? Why then do the worst possible scenarios still run through my head? Now, I will state that I have not had an acute anxiety attack since my time on the mountain. But still, whatever the worst possible outcome could be is still there lingering around in my mind.
Boss wants to talk so I’m assuming she’s going to fire me. Even though I’ve done nothing that is a fireable offense and I’ve heard nothing but praise and good reports from not only her but all of the other leaders as well. Pain in my chest so a heart attack must be looming. Or the fact that you’ve been more active with your arms means you have sore muscles. Or maybe the food you’ve eaten as of late is causing reflux. While enjoying a peaceful night around a campfire someone will slip up from the darkness and kill me in front of my family. Or it’s just a squirrel looking for one more bit of food before settling in for the night. These fears are absurd.
In reality, even when things have been their worst, they could have always been worse. I have been fired (once) before from a job. At that time we had no income for close to six months. During that time though we never once went hungry and we always had a roof over our head. I’ve been examined by several doctors and while I do need to lose weight, for now, my enlarged heart is fine. Within a minute of that odd feeling in my chest, I burp and everything is fine. There is no foundation for my fear. But still it is there and to say it is not is an outright lie. But I am a person of faith so does this mean I do not truly believe?
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
The Lord here is speaking through Isaiah, one of the giants of the old testament, to the nation of Israel. In the new testament, Christ himself will say to those in the boat with him “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 8:26). What does this mean to me?
That even the giants of faith, the ones we hold dear in our minds, had seasons of fear and doubt. But both in the Old Testament and the New, it wasn’t through their own strength of will that great things were done, but through the strength of the right hand of God. I am going to have fear in my life, even those who do not have anxiety disorders will have fear in their life. The hope we’re given is that the Lord will hold our hand through those fears, even if they are unfounded. The more we walk with Him the weaker our fears become. Who amongst us is still afraid of the dark or worried there’s a monster in our closet? Our parents walked us through those moments … how much more will our Heavenly Father walk us through the other fears in our life?
The fears still creep in, but not as far as they used too.