Posts Tagged ‘God’

I wonder how quickly we panic when worries arise, how desperate we are to fling fearful or troubling situations away like a spider on our arm or speed past it, eyes squeezed tight, or ask Alexa how to fix it NOW, how desperate we are to be free of the stress and worry they cause. And why not? We’re human, we were made to feel all the feels. Even a Vulcan would agree (just a guess) that panic, fear, and denial are logical.

But what if, after we ask God to help or to heal, we pause for a heartbeat or two in silence instead of panic, and instead of giving into the urge to fling it away or numb it with a quart of Häagen-Dazs or flee from it, we tell our Maker that this troubling, painful, nasty thing is no surprise to him and is certainly not impossible for him to handle, and that if he wants to use it (and li’l us) to show his goodness, power, love, and faithfulness to the precious broken, then we will place this thing into his trustworthy hands and tear our gaze away from it and gaze instead at him.

I wonder what would happen if, instead of worry, we spent all our energy keeping our eyes fixed on God’s lovely face.

I don’t doubt that he can answer my prayers, but that belief doesn’t always stop the worry or the re-hashing or the strategizing to solve it.

Here’s a crazy thought: What if, instead of resistance, we welcomed that grief or that fearsome thing, just a little bit, and try to see it not as an obstacle but as potential, try to embrace the opportunity it is for God to move in amazing, miraculous ways and in so doing, maybe help another hopeless, fearful soul find the hope and help and peace that is found in him.

I wonder.


2 Corinthians 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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p-rugrats-christine-cavanaugh-chuckie-finsterWhen my kids were little, they watched Rugrats on Nickelodeon. Not a fan? That’s ok. I didn’t care if they watched it, as long as they didn’t pick up Angelica’s bratty behavior and attitude. But while I folded laundry or cooked dinner and listened to the show, I found myself rooting for timid little Chuckie, the one who was always afraid. Because somehow, Chuckie often summoned the courage to be brave and face his fears. I think Chuckie was the character written with the five year old in mind, the one kids could identify with.

I marvel at those who seem fearless. Do you know anyone like that? Aren’t they amazing? But what amazes me even more are those who are terrified and somehow summon courage even when they’re scared spitless.

I don’t know what Chuckie based his courage on. But as I thought about this character (yes, I like to analyze characters and I love to learn from them), what really struck me was the fact that Chuckie’s courage wasn’t based on an absence of fear. The poor kid was always afraid. There are those who just don’t get scared—like Navy Seals, maybe, and they’re awesome, of course, but they’re not much help to me, you know? So maybe you’re a Navy Seal who is totally in your Zen zone hanging out underwater in a 300lb diving suit with oxygen being pumped down to you by some guy topside who might sneeze and trip over your air hose and accidentally rip it loose, or fall asleep or get distracted by puppies on facebook. And I’m glad you’re at peace with that guy in charge of your oxygen. But for the rest of us who are petrified of drowning or suffocating, the idea of mustering the courage to do something like that, for me, is huge.

In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat faced a frightening situation when he and his people were surrounded by an enemy too numerous and powerful to withstand. I love that he didn’t posture bravado. He was Freaked. Out. And was not afraid to admit it. In unabashed humility, he uttered this prayer to the Lord:

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Which was great, but even better, the Lord answered and said,

“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

The battle belongs to God! That’s so cool! And, somehow, so easy to forget.

One of my earlier novels gives a nod to the Old Testament story of Daniel’s young friends as they face the fiery furnace, and the main character (Emily) is reminded that if she has to face a fiery trial, the Lord will be right there with her, standing with her through it all. A wise book reviewer (Carrie of Reading Is My Superpower) made this lovely meme quoting a line (inscribed in a fictional children’s book) from the story.


Courage is not an absence of fear, or enemies surrounding our camp, or trials, or taxes, or fiery furnaces. Courage is stepping out in faith in spite of fear. It may help to remember that the battle is not ours, and is already won (YES!!) and that the Lord stands with us, right beside us, and will never leave us. Or accidentally trip over our air hose.

Personally, I admire the timid soul who summons the courage to trust God when afraid. I think taking a step of faith and trusting God in spite of fear is incredibly brave—maybe even more brave than a Navy Seal in the 300lb diving suit.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. -Psalm 27:14

Question: Care to share a moment when you were afraid and had to summon the courage to jump or step out in faith?

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