Through the tough stuff, we can learn how to increase our faith and not our fears. Fear does not come from God yet it surrounds us. It is a choice to let it rule our lives or not. Chronic illness can suck us into a black hole of fear or we can allow Jesus to raise us above and use this time to increase our faith. If you are like me, there is some dipping in and out of that black hole of fear.
We are not the first to experience fear, pain, and suffering. It has existed since the beginning of mankind. Yet we feel our current situations so intensely because it is happening to us, at the moment.
Chronic illness comes with many difficult situations. David gives us grand examples of how to move through them instead of getting stuck.
David’s faith grew as he grew (and there was some dipping in and out as he grew). David had wildly crazy experiences. Chronic illness can feel that intense at times while we walk through the toughest parts of it.
So how did David perceive his faith, deliverance, and salvation through the tough stuff? Did he get lost in fear? Did he use his own devices to rise above the circumstances? Or did he allow himself the room to grow his faith through these experiences?
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
“1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.” ~ Psalm 3 NIV
We may not have our own sons coming to overtake us like David did, but there is plenty going on in our own lives that it may feel that intense at times.
Shoot, there is plenty to be fearful about. So much that it can overwhelm and suck one into the deepest darkest black hole.
Or we can choose to keep moving; looking for God’s light and perceive His hope, not fear.
So much easier said than done when our bodies are failing us.
I get it. Been there done that. I have dipped in and out of that black hole too many times myself. Yet, if it were plotted out on a meaningless flat piece of paper on a timeline, there is a slow steady increase in faith.
When life has been so tough that our faces become deformed from the sadness, agony, and suffering, God has the ability to lift our heads high with His dignity and glory. That means we still have the right and the place in the Kingdom of God to hold our heads high as we walk forward instead of getting stuck.
There are times when our bodies fail us so miserably that we have no choice but to lay down and rest and let the Lord sustain us. There is no choice sometimes but to rest our bodies and thank the Lord for providing sustenance in spirit.
The choice comes in with fear. Do we succumb to fear or do we allow faith to raise us above our circumstances? That is a choice we all have to make for ourselves.
God can give us the power and might to have the strength to rise above, but it comes down to a choice we make on a moment by moment basis. Fear can show up in the form of anger, or distancing ourselves, or downright stotty attitudes.
When we uncover our fears we can see them for what they are. Then we can do as David did and say, “I will not fear… Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God.”
When this basic understanding is revealed to some, they get it, get up, cling to it and it is a done deal. For us others, it is dipping in and out, back and forth, up and down, but a slow and steady increase in faith.
Accepting where we are at the moment allows for growth. It is okay to be you, exactly where you are today, at this moment.
There are some days, the best I can do is ask God to increase my faith, not my fears. God knows our hearts. Giving Him our best right now is what He is asking for. The troubles of tomorrow will come soon enough. For today, I will choose to put more effort into giving Him my very best. I have more room in me to allow Him to increase my faith and move out the fears.
I will choose to use scripture to nourish my mind body and soul.
Maribeth Baxter, MBNC (Certified Mind-Body Nourishment Coach)