We were driving home from church yesterday, heading down a curving, two lane road very close to home. We were getting close to a large curve when another car came from the opposite direction. It came to the curve and didn’t turn, but rather crossed into our lane and almost ended up in the ditch on our side of the road before the inattentive driver realized her error and returned to her lane. I pulled over and waited until she passed. She was still looking down as she passed us! It was terrifying to think about the results if we had been just a few seconds further down the road when she came around the corner. She would have slammed into us head on.
The older I get and the more life I experience, the more I realize how easily life can change in an instant. We’re not invincible. Far from it.
Each Sunday in church, I find myself scanning the congregation to see if anyone looks like he’s hiding a machine gun in his jacket. Even in my “safe” suburban neighborhood, there have been armed robberies lately of gas stations and restaurants. I stay extra cautious as I am out and about. We’ve chosen (so far) not to get flu shots this year, but I’ve been hearing about people hospitalized and even dying from the effects of the flu. It’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to lay in a hospital bed next to a sick child wrestling with illness.
The world is a scary place. There’s no denying it. In spite of how random things may seem, God IS in control. He is sovereign. He’s not a watch maker who set the universe in motion and then left it to run on its own. He is intimately involved in His creation and knows every hair on our heads. Not only that, but He also loves us passionately. His plan is best. He is good.
I could spend the rest of my life in fear, waiting for the next illness or injury, looking for the next shooter or random act of violence. But what good does that do? Does it help me to avoid any of that violence? There’s benefit in reasonable caution. Take the kids to the doctor, keep your eyes out for suspicious looking individuals, and be a safe driver, watching out for drivers too busy on their phones to stay in their lanes. Aside from that, I can’t live in fear. It doesn’t accomplish anything other than sucking the joy out of life. I can’t dwell on the “what ifs”. I’ll drive myself nuts! Instead, I choose to place my trust in my Maker and Heavenly Father. Yes, bad things still happen. But He makes all things work for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) One of my favorite verses on this topic is Isaiah 8:12-14a.
“Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread, and He will be to you a sanctuary..”
God is the only one we are to fear and He is our sanctuary.
What do you fear the most and how to you deal with it?