When I am Afraid

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Thunderstorms used to make me nervous, to put it mildly. Ask my mom, and she’ll tell you that’s a massive understatement.

I remember many summer nights when I was little spent sitting in bed, arms wrapped around my knees and teeth chattering wildly. Before long, either I would end up in my parents’ bed, or one of them would come to me.

I hated storms. I honestly never even knew why they terrified me. I’d never been hurt by a storm, and I didn’t know anyone personally who had been hurt by a storm. All I knew was that I would search the sky each night for any sign of coming rain, and the first distant roll of thunder or streak of lightening would send me racing down the hall to my parents’ room.

Thankfully, storms no longer give me anxiety. It probably took me a few years longer than it should’ve to outgrow that fear, but now I actually enjoy falling asleep to the sound of thunder grumbling in the distance and rain pattering against the windowpanes.

But if I’m honest, I’m afraid of other things. Sometimes I’m afraid of the future. Sometimes, I’m not just afraid of what will happen, but of what won’t happen. Will I actually make a difference with my life? Will what I do even matter? What if my biggest dreams don’t come true?

I find myself afraid in other situations, too. Times when  I know God is in control, but my heart still worries. Know what I mean?

Psalm 56:3-4  says,

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid…”

These verses tells us to put our trust in God. But how do we trust in God? We believe what He says is true. How do we know what He says is true? We know His Word, the Bible.

On those nights when I was so scared, I repeated this verse in my mind, over…and over…and over…and over…and over…until the storm passed and I finally drifted off to sleep.

Maybe you’re not scared of thunderstorms (or maybe you are), but there are other kinds of storms that tempt us to be afraid. There are circumstances out of our control that come up, and all we can do is cling to what we know is true.

When we make big decisions – like what school we should go to, who we should date, the kinds of friends we need – it can be scary.

When our world flips upside down and we lose someone we love or we move to a new city or we have to start over, it’s terrifying.

There are so many opportunities for us to be afraid.

But every opportunity to be afraid is an opportunity to trust in the Lord.

Every chance to fear is a chance to turn in the other direction and run into the loving, sturdy arms of our Savior, who won’t ever let us go.

When  I am afraid, I put my trust in you…In God I trust…

We have no need to be afraid because we trust in the God who is with us. He won’t always stop the storm, but He will lead us through it. Trust Him.

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Let’s talk: Do you repeat God’s Word when you’re afraid? What’s a truth from the Bible that comforts you when you’re scared?

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