I finally deflated my bed after three weeks of camping out in the living room. It was post foot surgery, and I had decided it was time to brave the stairs and sleep in my own bed. I hadn't realized how crippled I had become in spirit until I was determined to press forward into physical healing Two nasty falls made me terrified of injuring my vulnerable foot once again Even when my family attempted to help by pushing me around in a wheelchair, I would grip the wheel or complain that they were going way too fast.
Physical healing I discovered, was not up to me, yet I desperately wanted to be in control. I can do my part through physical therapy and following doctor’s orders, but I do not get to determine how long the bone, tendon, and muscles take to heal. And if I am being honest, I am terrified they won't heal properly. The challenge is to balance moving my foot in order to keep the muscle weakness from setting in, and at the same time, to keep weight off it. Time, patience, and a willingness to allow others to provide for me are all necessary. Unfortunately, restlessness dominates when I am so dependent upon others, and impatience threatens to stop me in my tracks.
In my relationship with God, the same impatient fear impacts my day to day life. When I hear that another person has given in to despair, I wonder, Where are You, God? When my children wrestle with loss and health issues beyond their comprehension, I grow weary. Do something! I scream. In my mind I am confident that You have a perfect plan, but this does not feel perfect. I desperately want reassurance that my two remaining children will survive their physical challenges, and they will thrive in life and faith. I desire for my friends and family to see the compassion and grace that God offers. And for the world in this uncertain time, I want the tide of despair to turn for the better.
Throughout scripture, I see that God has the same desires for me for a life free from fear. It's just that God moves in His time to show me how it will play out. At just the right time, God entered the world in human form. We were sinners, longing for someone to rescue us from the cycle of destruction in which we seemed to be set. For years and years, Israel waited for the Savior, pouring over scripture so they would be ready, and still He did not come. Even neighboring nations heard of the Promised One, while paranoid kings shivered with nightmares of a God that was greater than themselves. Throughout the land, people suffered in sin, but still the Savior did not come.
God knew His one and only son had to be born at the exact time in history. God's timing made it possible for people to be able to follow the path God had laid out. Timing was everything in order to allow the disciples to share the message of Jesus throughout the world. People are not in control of what God sets out to do. So, too, God has His timing regarding my healing. God enters my pain, allows for healing, and reveals His good, pleasing, and perfect will to provide for me. He is nothing like I expected. God will never fit into my box of preconceived beliefs, but He expands my faith to recognize that He desires healing of all.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT:
What fears are currently plaguing your life and crippling you into inaction? List them on paper and pray about them. Then, pick one or two verses that address fear, and read them. (see suggested scriptures below) Press into the fullness of God’s good, perfect, and pleasing will.
Many bibles have a concordance to get you started looking for scriptures and how Gods' people have addressed fear. You will find the Concordance in the back of the Bible; find the word "fear" and see what passages are suggested. You can search online; BibleHub.com is one of the sources I use. You might also observe others who wrestle with fear. What actions do they take to move forward?
Seeing God’s timing in the testimony of others who have wrestled with fear, helps to spur me on in my faith walk. In the Old Testament, we find Abraham who embraced God's timing when he patiently waited for his barren wife to bear a son in their old age. Ruth risked persecution and death to go with her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to the land of Israel; here God gave her a kinsman-redeemer at just the right moment to bring her out of a life of poverty.
God's perfect timing continues through current history. Corrie ten Boom turned away from anger and revenge to forgive her captor after the Holocaust, and then she created a center for reconciliation. Kanye West, a famous pop culture icon, risks the fear of rejection to embrace a relationship with Christ. And then there is me: God met me in my fear and convinced me that nothing is impossible for Him. God has entered each of our stories at the precise moment, and in doing so, provided unforeseen gifts. He is in your story. Like me, I invite you to deflate fear and take hold of what God will do next.
Add your story to the list of the faithful above. Be patient in affliction, and wait expectantly for God’s will to be revealed in your life. Identify any fear that hinders you from moving forward and embracing life. There are so many heroes of faith to encourage you on your way. Study the ones above in scripture, as well as any modern-day heroes of faith. You are not alone. God joins you as you seek to overcome your fear, deal with challenging circumstances, and grow in your faith.
Lord, I am paralyzed with fear. Reveal the clear next step and help to stand firm when I feel I cannot go further. Amen
Here are some scriptures that might be helpful:
Hebrews 11- is known as the Hall of Faith, and it lists Old Testament examples of those who trusted God in fearful situations.
Joshua 1:9- God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous
Ruth 1-4 Is a fantastic example of God orchestrating behind the scenes, providing just the right person to be in place to save the Hebrew people.
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