Last week, I received news of a great opportunity! It was something I’d applied for, however I’d mostly forgotten about it because I thought my chances were slim. And I certainly didn’t want to get my hopes up for nothing. Anyway, I got the news and was instantly thrilled!
It wasn’t until that evening that the fear set it. “This is my second big break already this year,” I divulged to God. The lights were out, my alarm clock was set, and I was suddenly having trouble sleeping. “Oh man,” I moaned- no longer talking to God- “That means I’m about to hit a storm again soon….”
About to fall.
See, I’ve lived a privileged life, but it’s far from smooth. If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I’ve wrestled with a lot of stuff, stuff that God has graciously used to grow my faith. That being said: It hasn’t exactly been “enjoyable.” And after each difficult season, I’ve grown a little more accustomed to living in the storm. There’s a routine to it all: Grab the Bible, batten down the hatches and brace for impact.
However, the storm shelter is no place to live. As a competitive runner, I’ve learned that it’s easy to hide behind circumstance or injury, use them to avoid getting exposed in a race. But what good is the training, if your results are hindered by fear. And what good are the blessings of God, if our enjoyment is hindered by fear?
Knowing that (and still feeling terrified), I let myself sit with it. And I asked: “What if tomorrow comes, and I’m ordered into a battle again? What if I break my expensive computer or get another stress fracture or have a family member die? Part of me thinks I’d be more at ease of one of those random bad things happened. The storm shelter, though stifling, is a place I know well. And when things are going bad enough, there’s a sense of safety knowing it can’t get much worse.
But life isn’t meant to be lived in the storm shelter, and I have grown weary of fearful living. Weary enough to change? I don’t know, but I hope so. I’ve written about this topic before, and I’ve seen personal growth, but it’s still such a hard area for me! And as I sat pondering my fear, I realized that I’d just finished rereading the book of Job. Seriously: What a trooper! Albeit imperfectly, Job walked through gut-wrenching disaster and gave glory to God. But what about afterward? Do you think he was in fear that God would allow his earthly treasures to be stripped away again? I wonder if he was afraid of receiving the good things, just like me.
Life isn’t meant to be lived in the storm shelter
Whether or not he was, I can’t be sure. But I can see that his interaction with the Lord showed a great level of humility. After his great trial, Job knew that God was both powerful and good. Maybe, just maybe, that released him to peace.
And maybe, just maybe, that realization can liberate us as well. For, as Job learned: God can use every circumstance to draw us nearer to Him. To bring good. So whether success or heartache, life or death, come our way: It will be good and He will be with us. And what then, is there to fear?
Can we dare to breathe in the raw joy of success, relax in it a little and thank God by enjoying His blessings? Surely such an action takes practice, and time, but I encourage you to begin making headway. I encourage you to trust Him enough to let your guard down and stop planning for the next disaster. He will be with you then, just as He is now.
Job 19:25- I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth.
He wins in the end, guys. He wins and we conquer with Him. And knocks the wind right out of fear; fear of what will or will not happen, doesn’t really matter in light of His majesty. How crazy awesome is that?!