My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).
Okay, it’s time to be honest.
Yes. I’m frightened. The current situation in the world and in the US, particularly the uncertainty of it all, are very distressing to me.
It’s also confession time. You might not know this about me. Only a handful of people do. I’ve battled anxiety and depression most of my life.
In my last post I said that as a suspense/thriller writer, my mind naturally goes to the worst-case scenario. It would have been more accurate to say, “Because my mind routinely goes to the worst-case scenario, I’m a natural suspense/thriller writer.”
Even when I’m not facing a crisis such as this, my mind tends to plumb the depths of the worst that could happen in any given situation. Fear is a spectre that frequently comes to haunt me in the middle of the night, and I’ve lost more than a little sleep to worry. I won’t go into all of the things that I’m afraid of. That would be tedious. And it would take much too long. Instead I will appeal to the Peanuts comic where Lucy is trying to get Charlie Brown to identify his fear.
Lucy asks, “Do you have pantophobia?”
Charlie replies, “What’s pantophobia?”
Lucy says, “The fear of everything.”
“THAT’S IT!!!” Charlie shouts.
Yep. That’s it. (An aside: Charlie Brown was my favorite comic character when I was a kid. I identified deeply with him.)
Anyway, all that to say that dealing with fear, anxiety, depression, and so on has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. And learning how to trust God with my fear has also been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
It’s easy to say, “Don’t be afraid” or to quote applicable Bible verses, but unless we invest serious time and thought into the “whys” of not being afraid or the “hows” of trusting God, such comments and verses are little more than trite phrases and empty platitudes.
So, at least for the next few posts, I’m going to try my best to share how I deal with fear in general and, more specifically, how I am approaching the uncertainty of the present times.
This post is already getting too long, so I’m just going to leave you with one thought, based on the verse at the beginning of this post: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
I wrote in my last post that God is lord of the worst-case scenario. That’s true, but that perspective can lead to a kind of theological fatalism, a que sera, sera (what will be, will be) attitude. Yes, God is lord of the worst-case scenario. But, more important, he is my portion. I like how the NLV translates that phrase: “He is mine forever.”
I can face down the worst-case scenario because God is my portion, my inheritance. I am his and he is mine.
Even if I lose everything (Habakkuk 3:17-19), I can rejoice.
Because I have him.
(More on this next time. If you want to add your thoughts, please comment below. A note to all commentors: Please leave your politics at the door. I review all comments and will not allow them through if they are political, argumentative, or contentious.)
Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.