What is it that makes you anxious? Nervous? Unsettled? Afraid?
I’m not talking about normal external fears like snakes, spiders, or the fear of flying. I’m wondering what keeps you up at night, those things that ricochet in your mind and refuse to be quieted. Things like losing your job. Not getting married. Or being stuck in a bad marriage. Having your health fail. Draining your savings account just to get by.
We don’t know what exact fears were running through David’s mind, but it’s clear he was troubled about his safety and perhaps his future. Because after asking God to search his heart, David prayed, “know my anxious thoughts” (Ps. 139:23). He wanted to share his worst fears with God. To face them and give them a name. To trust that God was bigger than any fear David could dream up.
Are you willing to pray such a prayer? “Lord, reveal what holds my mind hostage. Show me what I fear the most. Go ahead, help me face what terrifies me.”
What we fear matters.
I had a revelation about this subject that touched me in a very personal way. God showed me that what I feared the most revealed where I trusted God the least. After the birth of our daughter, Anna, Amy started having physical challenges. At first, we thought it was just fatigue, but when half her body went numb, we feared it was something much worse. Doctor after doctor couldn’t provide answers. As her symptoms continued to worsen, my trust in God started to weaken.
This fear led to others, and at night my thoughts snowballed out of control. What if Amy is dangerously sick? What if I lose her? I won’t be able to raise our kids without her. I wouldn’t be able to continue to lead the church. I wouldn’t want to go on. Then it hit me. The things that kept me awake at night were the things that I wasn’t trusting God to handle. I was holding onto them, ruminating over them, trying to find a way to gain control over them, to solve all my problems, to plan for every contingency. Thankfully, by the grace of God, Amy gradually improved back to full strength, but her challenges exposed one of my worst weaknesses. Fear had consumed me.
What about you? What are the areas that you’re clinging to even while allowing them to terrify you? What fears are you withholding from God?
Think about it. If you’re gripped with fear about the future of your marriage, this is an indication that you don’t completely trust God with your marriage. If you’re overwhelmed with worry about how you will pay your bills, this reveals that you may not be trusting God to be your provider. If you’re paralyzed with worry about the safety of your children, could it be that you aren’t trusting God to keep them safe?
As God reveals your fears, he will also build your faith. You need him. You need his presence. You need his power. You need his Spirit guiding you. You need his Word strengthening you.
What you fear the most shows you where you need to grow with God. What do you fear? What are your anxious thoughts?
What is God showing you?
Where do you need to grow in faith?