Hi there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m embarking on. I’d love for you to join me and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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There are a few things that I imagine just about everybody will struggle with while walking the path toward holiness. And it is hard for me to contemplate fear not being one of them.

While running the race seems mostly like a linear push toward a finish line in the distance, there are times where I tend to feel more like I’m racing around a track. I’ll think I’ve worked my way through a certain struggle, leaned on Jesus and found His help for it, and then, shew-wee I hit that quarter-mile marker and a struggle (this time, fear) is on my back whispering in my ear again.

One of my greatest fears has largely to do with how much I love my family. The fear of losing my Hero Hubs or one of my children — just the thought of it, can start enacting scenarios in my head. What would I do? What would life look like? How would we make it? And the runaway thought-train gets specific: Will I have to quit homeschooling the Bear? What sort of work could I do that would allow me to still be home a lot? Could I sell decent-paying advertising slots on my blog?

Giving those thoughts headspace is usually an awful decision — but sometimes it seems like they have a head start, they are already trailing along and building idea on top of idea — and I’m left behind, trying to scale the lofty tower of “what-if’s” to knock down the beast that’s busy stacking something else at the top.

What’s interesting is that what the Lord gives us to combat fear is not what we might expect, or choose if we had a choice. If I had a choice, I would probably like to ask the Lord to 1) promise me that the Hubs and I will live to a ripe old age and enjoy our grandchildren 2) promise me that our children will all outlive us, and that we’ll never have to say goodbye to any of them at a time that seems premature.

Lord, let me see the whole picture folded out in front of me — will I get to do this and will my eldest do that and will we ever manage to do this and…

But He doesn’t answer fears individually, really. He doesn’t say “I promise this will go like this and that will go like that.”

Somehow, the answer to our fears is simply the belief that God is good. 

South African sunrise

What sort of adventure would life be if we could map it all out? And if we could map it all out, what use would there be for trust?

In His glorious goodness, He rather chooses to let us fully put our trust in Him, because really, that’s the only thing that never changes. He is always good, and He promises to be with us always.

People live to a hundred. Children die within a few days of their first breath. Winter gives way to Spring. Regimes rise and fall.

He is the only Being who is eternally consistent, never-changing in all the Universe.

And He is willing — He actually desires to meet us, personally engage with us, and even to help us punch fear in the face. And what an unexpected turn — the only appropriate place for us to fear is with regard to the Lord Himself. We fear Him with a Holy reverence — because He is good, and also great (in the sense of His magnitude). He is very strong, very loving. Out of respect for Who He is and what He is capable of, it is right to fear Him.

But He is also gloriously good — and in this unexpected juxtaposition, we can find our fears eradicated. We turn to Him, He lifts us out of the mess we’ve been entertaining, and He shows us how to trust. It might go something like this:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him. {Ps. 40:1-3}

In His glorious goodness, God’s willingness to meet us as we turn to Him and put our trust in Him can be the beginning of a new story of joy in our lives — and an opportunity to encourage those around us.

Once again we find if we can just let go — there is something so much better to grab hold of.