I find myself so fearful of life's valleys, desert places, darkness that feels it will last forever... Maybe that's partly because I've experienced these long dark hours, days, months, years, and fear what could be next? But isn't this exactly what God tells us to expect in 1 Peter 4:12... "do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." So why do I fear it if I know I should expect it?
I just completed a wonderful Beth Moore bible study on the book of Esther! An exercise we did one week profoundly stuck with me. We were given a sheet of paper titled "Face The Fear". It looked something like this:
If _________________________________ and then I'd get up because my God is faithful and He will take care of me.
The blank was filled in by each person's personal fear(s). We were given quite a bit of room to elaborate that fear(s), I just wanted to show a visual above:o) But it's the end that so profoundly hit me... "my God is faithful and He will take care of me"... period!
I began to reflect on my own personal valleys to see if this in fact was true in my own life, and guess what I found? It's true! My God is faithful and He has NEVER left me alone to wallow and find my own way through, even the darkest of times! He has indeed taken care of me, as He walks along side of me, carrying me at times when I couldn't stand on my own two feet, through the bleak darkness. Sure, there were many times when I didn't "feel" His nearness and wondered if He was even aware of my circumstances, but He doesn't call me to rely on my feelings, He calls me to put my TRUST in Him (Psalm 62:8 and Prov. 3:5-6).
I love my daily devotionals by Amy Carmichael! Here is what I read this morning:
Deut. 1:30 The Lord your God Who goeth before you, He shall fight for you.
Thank God for the battle verses in the Bible. We go into the unknown every day of our lives, and especially every Monday morning, for the week is sure to be a battle-field, outwardly and evidently, or inwardly in that unseen life of the spirit, which is often by far the sternest battle-field for souls. Either way, both ways, "The Lord your God Who goeth before you, He shall fight for you".
Then comes a word which I think will bring some of you (as it has me) a very tender comfort, for the Spirit of God goes on to speak of the wilderness and what happened there: "Thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son" ("as a nursling").
Has He not done so through all the wilderness days that we have ever known? Will He not do so through any dry places that may lie before us? Then is there anything, can there be anything, to fear? We are His soldiers, thank God for that; we are His nurslings, too. We are never too grown-up to be, as Brother Lawrence puts it, "extremely caressed by Him."
It was out of this devotional from Amy C. that spurred me into writing this blog entry. It is my hope and prayer that God would encourage you today (as I have been). You may be in the midst of a valley today, one that has lasted years upon years. Or you may be fearful of the next valley, the unknown that lies ahead (whatever it may be)... I pray that as you face your fears, as you live through today, that you would KNOW His presence with you, He has you in His arms, and that He is faithful and will take care of you! Take heart, you're not alone!!