I have a confession to make. I, Erin Elizabeth Austin, am a reformed fraidy cat. For those unfamiliar with this phrase, it means I used to be scared of my own shadow. I put up a brave face, but more often than not, I was afraid of anything new or unfamiliar.
Everything terrified me, even people. Because I was molested when I was eight-years old, I knew bad things happened. Not only could people hurt you, but new situations could as well. I was so traumatized by all I’d been through, I shut myself off from living. I became reserved around people I didn’t know and had to be coaxed and cajoled to try anything new. Life became two-dimensional. This became even truer when I was diagnosed with lupus. Sickness quickly stole what little zest for life I had left and I became a shell of a person.
Yet I failed to realize something through all of this. I was so focused on protecting myself from further pain that I blocked out all the good God had in store for me. I didn’t understand a vital truth – when we limit ourselves, we’re also placing a limit on God. We’re saying He’s not strong enough to take care of us. He’s not good enough to allow good things in our lives. We’re saying Jesus’ death on the cross was not enough.
If you’re like me, you’d never dare say anything like that to God, and yet most of us do on a regular basis. We say it when we’re too afraid to trust Him to take care of our problems. When we struggle to hold on to our control over a situation, we’re in essence saying God isn’t good enough to accomplish what needs to be done. When we’re in desperate need of money to pay the bills and praying for God’s help doesn’t even cross our minds, we show God isn’t good enough to fulfill His promises. We limit God by our own fear and need for control. Because of the pain many of us have been forced to endure, we build up walls to protect ourselves and forget an important truth.
Just because you’re down doesn’t mean you’re out. Yes, bad things happen. They have in the past and they will again. It’s a fact of life because we live in a fallen, broken world, but that doesn’t mean we need to cower in fear worrying about what great tragedy will befall us next. My favorite psalm is Psalm 91. It says in verses 1-4:
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
So don’t give up hope. Your story isn’t over yet. You don’t have to live in fear. Victory belongs to you because grace wins every time! It’s time to rise up. No more walking in defeat, being scared of what’s going to come. Trust God. Rely on Him. He is your protector!
“People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole. Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (MSG)
© August 27, 2015