Fear and Faith

I am definitely in God’s Learning Disabled Class. I am so afraid that I am letting God down, that it is hard for me to accept the challenge of people who have outgrown where I am.
I have admitted that I am a wus, a devout coward, a congenital worrier.
Yet, I experienced God’s gift of faith, when I was aware of panic in the operating room during my surgery and at the same time I experienced my energy level sinking rapidly, so assumed I might be dying. It was ok. God gave me faith and peace at that moment.
Several times my husband has had near death events and God gave me faith for the crises, even enough to drive him seven miles to the hospital in an ice storm dodging trees and downed power lines on ice encrusted back roads.
But, I still don’t manage to trust for dangers that I imagine in the future. These are not imaginary or unlikely dangers. They are real. But no matter how many times God has rescued me and my family, I still worry.
I have a friend who frequently cheerfully proclaims to one and all, that she has faith, so she doesn’t fear anything. I find that intimidating. It makes me feel like a failure, so I tell myself that she’s in denial.
Yesterday, I told her that and for a moment, we glared at each other across the abyss of my accusation.
I learned long ago that grace is for the moment, not worries about future possibilities, even probable ones. But, in reflecting on yesterday’s conversation, I finally let myself hear God challenging me to develop the habit of faith. He has shown me over and over that He is with me in every situation. I know He loves my family more than I ever could.
I don’t need to believe nothing painful will happen. I just need to believe He will be with me and them in those times and can give us the grace to not only endure them, but to persevere and grow from them.
I don’t need to just trust His words, “I will be with you always.” I have experienced that over and over and over.
And knowing that, even wus that I am, I don’t have to live in fear of my own weakness and inadequacies, for His grace is enough.
He knows I’m a wus. He accepts me as a wus. But He expects me to trust not in my own understanding or my own strength, but in His faithfulness, which He has proven over and over in my small life.

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of five. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Was married for 60 years to an Architect in Middle Tennessee.

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Gifts of Age, Spiritual. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love this phrase: we glared at each other across the abyss of my accusation. Well, for my 2 cents (actually I am having a special today, it is only 1 cent, and I have often said that a penny for my thoughts is a bait and switch tactic), I worry daily about all the pain and tragedy that might happen today, next year, someday. I do not have fearless faith, but I do try to remember that all suffering eventually does pass away. Nature works that way and I understand nature a lot better than God. Another thing I recognize is that “stuff” happens no matter how you frame it. (Whether you think it happens “for a reason” or not…the same stuff will happen.) I find a good antidote to worry is micro focus…like intently contemplating the wonder of a cat’s nose. Of course if I knew the difference between an antidote and anecdote, my friend Willy would be alive today. (Okay, Ron White said that one.)


    • Wow, finally someone dialoguing. You are the first! Thank you.

      I think your micro focus is the same as my grace for the moment. I loved the my friend Willy anecdote(?).

      I had to reread “and I understand nature a lot better than God.” My first response was, “Hopefully God understands nature better than we do, because I don’t understand either very well.” Then I reread and got it. I need a better grasp of punctuation! Have no idea whether stuff happens because of predetermined rules or random chance or if we even might call it in, but I do eventually experience the grace to find good or to grow from whatever, once I get over my fighting Irish response.

      Have had a lot of what people perceive as miracles, but I think that we just don’t understand the rules of our own nature yet. Faith in something may free us from some unrecognized inhibitions or ignorance of how the world works. May not need to understand it, just risk it.

      Thanks again for reading and responding. Love your humor and appreciate the penny special today. Eileen


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