The Right Kind of Fear

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
    They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
    Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
    but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

It turns out our immortal cats are not so immortal. All three of them were terrified of helpful, life-giving things but fearless of real danger. They scurried away from the one providing them with food, shelter, and water and ran toward a dark attic with a mysterious opening where they found themselves stuck inside dark walls away from help. We left out their favorite food hoping they would find their way out the same way they went in but three days later, the food was still there and what we thought might happen, happened. There was a terrible smell of decay radiating inside and out of the guest-house walls. We wanted so badly to pull them out of the dark pit of our attic walls, but we couldn’t find how to reach them.

Aren’t we all just like these cats? We run away from the One who gives us life – away from the life-giving, fruit-producing words of scripture to the advice and mentality of the world.

I have totally fallen into this. The world says: “Don’t forgive.” “Retaliate.” “Defend yourself.” “Hold on to bitterness.” “You should be offended.” “It’s your right!” “Keep it a secret. No one will ever know.” “Prove it.” “Fight.” “Control.” “Go for it. You’re not hurting anyone.” “They hurt you so you can hurt them back.” “Life would be better if…” “I just need to vent…”
But I’ve found that these things – especially in my marriage – have only lead to more fights, more hurt, more frustration, more sadness, and even thoughts of death – which is not surprising because all sin, when it is full-grown, leads to death.

The other night, I laid in bed thinking “God, I feel so far gone – like I’m in this pit and I can’t seem to find my way out. My sins of anxiety, fear, bitterness, and rage have overtaken me. It’s dark. It’s cloudy. It’s confusing. I’ve stopped trusting that Your way works because I’ve prayed, and well, You haven’t answered yet. It feels like You’re not really there. I’m afraid of humility and being walked all over. I’m afraid to trust You because You might ask me to do things I don’t want to do. Truthfully – I don’t trust You anymore. Help me to trust You again. Help me to fear You again. Pull me out of this pit.”

Amazingly, God answered. He spoke to the deepest struggles of my soul with life-giving dreams and hope. He brought to mind verses, sermons I had listened to, a comment I had overheard at the store, and gathered them together like the pieces of a puzzle and allowed me to see a picture of what He’s been doing behind the scene. Then He spoke to me with this song:

Not for a Moment (After All)
Meredith Andrews
You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me
After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me
After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me
And every step every breath you are there
Every tear every cry every prayer
In my hurt at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it’s hard
You will never leave me
After allAfter all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

God’s kindness and love literally led me to repentance. He filled my heart and I was able to apologize for the things I thought I had the right to hold onto. I was able to fearlessly surrender things I wanted to keep. I was able to encourage my husband in a way I could only have done through the lens of Christ. It wasn’t like I just somehow mustered up the strength to trust God, or just chose change. No – all I did was confess my honest struggle, ask for help and God did the rest. It was truly amazing. He did for me what I could not have done for myself. He filled my heart with joy. He changed my attitude. He gave me hope and He allowed me to show love to my husband and see him through His lens.

It’s amazing because God’s way really does work. His way really does root us like a tree planted by streams of water as the psalmist says.

I may not have been able to pull my cats out of their dark pit. But even if I could – I don’t know that they would have come to my voice of rescue. God, however, is able to pull us out of our dark pits. He is able to set our feet back on a rock and make us strong, firm, and steadfast. Our job is to listen to His voice of rescue, come to Him and He will lead us back on the path that leads to life.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments