For I am the Lord Your God who takes hold
of your right hand and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you.
My alarm went off. Ready or not, the day was here. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t think it would get here this fast. Nor that I would feel the way I did – anxious, overwhelmed, and ill-prepared for what this day would be like. Would they do okay? Would they feel scared, timid, worried about fitting in?
I wasn’t ready for this flood of emotion. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but knew I had to. I was sending my firstborn twins to their first day of kindergarten and felt blindsided by the unexpected response my heart took as I dressed and walked to the kitchen to make coffee.
The house was still dark as I began sifting through my feelings. I realized they were all rooted in fear – fear of the unknown. Feeling uneasy about not knowing what to expect is one of my biggest struggles. The uneasiness turns into physiologic anxiety – my heart beats fast, my chest feels tight, my hands a bit shaky. At times, it’s difficult for me to trust the Lord when I am unfamiliar with my circumstances. I simply prefer to be prepared appropriately and I can’t prepare without knowing in advance what will be happening. Have you ever felt that way?
I sat quietly sipping my coffee. The stillness of the morning brought peace to my flustered heart as I was reminded of Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the Lord Your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
I had been allowing my circumstances to dictate my emotions; when I stopped to absorb the truth of God’s Word, my soul began to believe it. Even when my circumstances, emotions, and life change, God is with me, helping me.
God is not surprised by my desire to know what’s around the next corner on the path of life. In fact, He expects it and yet commands: Do Not Fear.
It’s not a suggestion. He doesn’t say, “I know life is scary sometimes, but try your best to not be afraid”. That’s like me telling my child, “When you cross the street, try your best to not get hit by a car”. That’s nonsense – I take my child by the hand, stay with him, and walk him safely across the street. He doesn’t fear being hit because I am with him – he trusts me.
God wants me to trust Him the same way because the truth is, He is holding my hand, staying with me, and walking me across the street of life. I don’t have anything to fear – not the unknown, not what the day will bring, not feeling ill-prepared for whatever life brings.
Fearlessness is found by fastening our faith to Jesus.
We all have fears. Perhaps you can relate to mine; maybe you fear rejection, feeling like a failure, letting others down, being fully known, being vulnerable, being loved. Think about it – what are you afraid of? What holds you back from allowing the Lord to take your hand and help you?
As I sent my boys off to school that day, I grabbed ahold of the Lord’s hand and gave it a squeeze, thankful for His presence. After all, it’s ok to have emotional responses to the events of life – I have nothing to be afraid of!
Dear Heavenly Father,
When my hands are clinched around my need for control, help me to open them to You, accepting Your help to release my fears. May Your promises seep deeply into my soul, saturating my heart with peace and comfort amidst the changing life circumstances threatening my security. Teach me to hear the voice of Your Holy Spirit over my doubts each and every day.