Fear is often like an unspoken elephant in the room, especially with people of faith. In reality, no one can see your elephant, but in the midst of a fearful moment you would swear your elephant was trumpeting loudly and wearing neon shorts. Yet, as you drown in your own fear looking for a life line and not wanting to reach out a hand, life goes on around you, totally unaware.
For some reason, it is assumed that if we have faith we do not have fear. We secretly sit in condemnation when we feel afraid in situations where we should have faith, hoping those around us don't see our palms sweating and judge us for not believing enough in God.
I don't think it's that we don't believe enough in God, but more so that the place in which we have grounded our faith may not be secure. Let me explain.
A week or so ago, my husband was having a rough day. I love my husband dearly and my heart ached that he was having a hard time. I wanted to do something to encourage him. I took a moment from the work I was doing and looked in my Bible. I thought that maybe I could find a verse to text him. I flipped open to the psalms and landed on Psalm 91. One verse in particular poked my heart.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name."
I saw this...
14 “Because he holds fast to me IN LOVE, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
Sometimes, well let me be honest, most of the time I can't explain how this book, the Bible, changes something in me. It's like it nudges my heart and life squeezes in. As I read those words, all I could think about was all the times I have "held fast" to God in total fear and panic.
I didn't feel like God was shaking his finger and saying, "Shame, shame." I did feel like he was saying, "I love you." I began to think about how different my life would look if I "held fast" to God in love instead of fear. What would that look like?
For the sake of bringing some humor to the subject, watch this short clip:
I think this is one of my favorite movies of all time, by the way. The thing I noticed that I want to relate to this issue of holding fast in love versus fear is that Dory holds fast in love while Marlin holds fast in fear. Look at the poor guy, he's terrified.
I've been there. In that place where you question everything. Where you can't even take in what's going on around you, let alone listen to anything because fear is making you blind and deaf. Marlin exhibits much of what we do when we are afraid: anger, despair, outbursts of rage, irrational thoughts. And then, we have Dory.
Dory is holding fast too, but she is listening. She is able to listen because she trusts the voice is telling her the truth. She doesn't question that she can trust it. She knows it's not promising a perfect life with no troubles, but she knows the voice is speaking something that is for her. She speaks whale after all, and like she speaks whale, we as believers speak the language of faith.
We all have been given the ability to hear God's voice through His word and through the love of others. Yet, how often are we paralyzed and forget the language that is love?
Dory enjoys life. Marlin survives it.
I continue to be challenged in my own faith that God wants me to live out of an assurance of love, rather than a response to fear.
This is what God says FAITH is:
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
Do we have fear sometimes in our faith? Sure, we are not perfect. But we also hold to the conviction that the hope in our hearts is true and real and guaranteed. Our faith may fail, but the object of our faith, Jesus Christ, will not. He can be counted on.
Our faith will be secure if it rises from the foundation of knowing the love of God and trusting in His love for us. His love never promises that there will be no trouble or pain, but it does promise that love will be with us and carry us through to the other side.
You can't control the ride or where it goes, but you can decide how you are going to ride it.
So, from one Marlin to another, let's try to be a little more Dory this week. Grab your exit buddy and hang on for the ride. "Hold fast!" That means clip on and rest secure in the one you are attached to.
No matter what happens along the way, the love of our lives is at the other end.
Going for it,