I’ve not been well for two weeks. Nothing fiercely wrong, just strep and sinusitis that is dragging heels at departing. But it’s had me feeling just bad enough to be less than effective. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my thoughts and that always sends me running for the Bible–the book that makes sense of them.
So that’s what I want to talk about in today’s post.
In reading, the verse resonating is: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” —2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
The verse I’m going to repeat throughout the day is: “You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.” —Deuteronomy 3:22 NKJV)
Why is this resonating so strongly right now?
Seeking a full and complete answer to that. I’m not sure, but maybe because reaching my goal took two decades. I sabotaged myself by letting fear and doubt rule me. God doesn’t work in that environment–it shows an absence of trust in Him and in faith. But I didn’t see that, so everything that could go wrong did. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. It was mine. I was undisciplined, long on letting fear and doubt rule and short on trust and faith in Him. I missed that then, though I see it clearly now.
Not that there weren’t signs. There were plenty of them. I was just too busy to notice or worse, I noticed and ignored them.
I suppose the strongest signal–one I actually stopped long enough to really note and thought, “Mmm, this is important. I need to pay attention to this” was after Mom died and right before the fall. What I remember most about that time was despair. I was so weary of grief and feeling bad all the time and of struggling. Everything seemed to be a struggle. I stood at the breaking point, ready to give up. Not on life, but on me.
And then things got worse.
That’s always the way it happens. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and maybe it does. Grieving and despairing, I got distracted and fell down an entire flight of stairs, slammed into a wall at the bottom and hit so hard it threw me back against the stairs and I cracked my head. I thought I was going to die, and I could have. Hubby was stunned I was alive and by the look on his face, I knew I was in real trouble.
I hurt everywhere at one time. He called out to God. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. My entire right side, my neck and back was on fire. Horrific pain. All of my muscles in severe spasm. I felt a rubber band type snap in my chest—a rib breaking. I lay there in a heap thinking, Breathe. You’ve got to breathe. It was awful. I’ve had surgeries that didn’t hurt as much or as intensely.
At the hospital, the problems that loomed huge earlier faded under the fear of fighting for my life, and I began praying for healing.
Fear and doubt came roaring in, insisting I would not be healed, I would die. From the level of pain they might have been right, but this time I refused to listen. For maybe the first time, I banished fear and doubt, defied boundaries and limitations imposed by reason and emotion, and I surrendered in total faith to God.
The ER doctor reviewed the x-rays. The good news, he said, was nothing had been broken. I asked if he was sure—I’d felt that rib break. He checked again and said there was a break in my rib, but it was an old one that had already healed.
I hadn’t had a broken rib before, and now I had a healed one. I also had separated the muscles from the chest wall and wrecked my right arm, wrist, hand, knee and foot. It was a miserable few months, but I went through them knowing that rib had been healed, and in His time, in His way, the rest of me would be too.
That recovery wasn’t easy, it wasn’t a snap. It was a process. But He carried me through it and fear and doubt lost its command over me. I learned to trust God. Regardless of the outcome, if my trust is in Him, the results will be of His choosing.
I learned that there are no limits for those who reject fear and doubt and trust in God. It is as is written in Matthew 19: 25-27: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
So today I remind myself and ask: When trouble comes, as it will, do I turn to God first, or as a last resort? Do I let fear and doubt rule me, or do I deliberately trust God?
I wish I could say that I do not fear or doubt. But I’m human, flawed to the core, and I do at times fear and doubt. But now I’m aware. I know that fear and doubt can be tools to help us and not just ones that sabotage or hold us back. And I know that telling the difference in healthy fear or doubt and unhealthy fear or doubt can be hard. That is, hard for me.
But I also know now that if I turn whatever it is over to God and trust Him, I’m in safe hands. He always knows the difference and always acts for our greater good.