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Fear is a Liar

I can’t remember a day in my life where I haven't felt afraid. Afraid of the boogie man, afraid of not being loved, afraid of getting stolen or hurt, afraid of rejection. And after months of an undiagnosed sickness as a child, one fear triumphed, I became terrified of being sick. Even though I was healed, and I now know most of that sickness was likely anxiety induced, I still fight with the fear of getting sick. So, throw me in a major pandemic where sickness is knocking down my door, well ya, buy me a box of chocolates to go with my panic attack.

Throughout this pandemic I have wrestled with God. Searching the scriptures for some magic formula that would protect me from the suffering and the difficult times. Some perfect prayer or 5 step plan to follow that would set me apart from the rest of the world and guarantee I am not affected when storms come. In this frantic pursuit I have only become more terrified. Satan has twisted so many words of my loving Father causing me to question if he really is a trust worthy God. And in this questioning, I start to feel that if God isn't trust worthy, then every truth I have built my life on will shatter and any last shred of security I may have felt, is ripped away.

The realization this small misconception of God had crept in my mind and created such chaos, really catches me off guard. I was so surprised at the way this lie had been so craftily planted. Satan really is the ultimate manipulator of truth. I was angered I had even entertained these thoughts for a moment. Angry that the author of sin and destruction had almost successfully attempted to disguise himself as light and cast darkness on the only one who is wholly good and loving.

One of the truths Satan tried to twist and use against me is that being a believer doesn’t prevent me from bumping into the pain of this sin scarred world. And I hate that reality. Because that truth doesn’t leave room for me to control anything. Or prevent sickness. It only leaves room for me to panic or trust God. On good days, when life is sunny and simple, trusting God is easy. But when all I know as normal is ripped from my hands, trusting God can be terrifying! It's easy to get stuck here and let fear of the unknown run rampant. But the fact we as believers are not exception to pain, is only half of the truth.

As I head back to scripture to fill in the blanks, I’m gently reminded to look for truth about who I already know God is and rebuild my crumbling walls from there. What I have always been sure about my God is, He is loving. He cannot, not, be loving. He is just and fair. Full of grace and mercy. And over and over he declares he is with us. I think we skip over those words as comforting sing songs from childhood. But let it sink in a for a minute. Let those life changing words sit with you. HE, the Eternal I AM, the creator of EVERYTHING, the Savior of the world, God with us, healer, friend, father, the author of your life, he is WITH you! When we let those words truly penetrate our lives, as well as all the surrounding scriptures that back them up, it drives out all the fear. Repeatedly God tells us he is not only with us, but carries us, shields us, and he promises to shelter us from storms.

The whole truth is, it was never Gods will for his children to suffer, or for us to be subject to the brokenness of this world. The real story is, God is not confined to all the pain and fear I know in my human mind, nor the things I see right in front of me. He isn't under the rule of the weather man, the president, the news media outlets, the scientist, or doctors. None of these human things hold him back or changes the good he has planned for my life despite the trouble I may face. In this world we are promised trouble. We know that hard things will happen. Things we don’t enjoy, things completely out of our ability to understand, things we feel we don’t deserve, things that even make us question if our God is good. But it's in these moments we have to hold even tighter to the truths we know and allow those seasons of pain to be what grows us.

As I look back over my life for those times when I have walked devastating and even sick seasons, stripped of all my physical securities and forced to my knees in surrender, I see God. I see his finger prints all over my life and I see that he was always up to something good. Each time he proved himself trust worthy. Despite the enemy’s attacks against me. God still had my best in mind and he always won. What I am gifted with is the knowledge that sometimes pain is what is needed to reveal a deeper issue. Sometimes we need sickness to get the ultimate healing. If not for this pandemic, my faith in this particular area would not have been put to the test and revealed these vulnerable areas that I desperately needed to patch up and repair. I now realize that when I reject and try to avoid those hard times, I’m also avoiding the potential for good. I’m rejection an opportunity for the perfect soil needed for my faith to grow and my love of Jesus to mature.

I still wouldn't jump at the chance to get sick, but equipped with the whole truth, untainted by Satan's misconstrued perceptions, I'm finally able to still my heart and put my full focus on the one who is always with me. I can now see him so clearly, defending me, fighting for me and winning every battle on my behalf. Despite the sickness and pain, he is still good. And none of this world’s dirt can mar his name, Emmanuel, God with us. This is the foundation I choose to build my life on. These are the truths that will guard me in every battle with fear that I face. The knowledge that no weapon formed against me will stand, not even one meant to shake my faith amidst the greatest pandemic of all time. I will remain victorious.

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