On Faith And Our Fears

There is an advertisement airing now on TV in which a woman says you cannot be full of fear if you are full of faith. It is supposed to be uplifting and positive but I think that is incorrect and misleading. I think it is possible to have fears despite having faith. I also think it is normal to have doubts and fears.

I do have doubts, insecurities, and fears. I had many of them after my husband unexpectedly passed away.  At the time, I was worried that the other shoe was going to drop, or that something was going to happen to me or our son. I wasn’t trying to live without faith. However, when your entire world is rocked, it is normal to have doubts and not know when all be again be okay.

Throughout my grief journey, I have developed a stronger faith. For me, without it and our loved ones, I don’t think we would have made it. I remember the struggles of the early days, of feeling like I was in a fog and couldn’t think. I couldn’t answer a question in the first few days when asked. Part of me was broken. Part of me was lost that day.

Now, two years later, those broken pieces are healing. The light is coming back in. The part of me that was his wife is gone and I am a widow. However, I am blessed with memories, photos, and a son who has a lot of his dad in him. I expected to grow old with my spouse so those expectations have had to change.  It has been a challenge, but I am feeling more positive and hopeful.  That is a blessing.

Another thing I have heard that troubles me is when preachers say you can just claim what you want and the Lord will give it to you.  Also, that if you are truly in God’s will, no harm will come to you.  These are not always the case. The expectation that all will be right if you desire it enough can be very painful when reality sometimes sets in.

As my husband went to the hospital and the paramedics, doctors, and nurses worked on him, I prayed that he would survive. I didn’t want to lose him.  I didn’t want to say goodbye and I wasn’t ready to do so. Despite my earnest prayers, that was not the answer. Instead, my husband passed away.  I did get to say goodbye, but he was already gone. He was already in Heaven.

I don’t always understand the ways of God, but I truly believe that He is loving. I believe that He cares for us. I believe that He will be there for us. He promised to be with us during the trying times in our lives. Like the Marines, He is always faithful. Despite my questions, that helps comfort me. 

Speaking of faith, let’s remember Job from the Bible. He believed in God but lost everything — his wife, his children, his property, his animals, his vocation. Even in his loss, Job still worshipped the Lord and believed that he would be okay. He had questions and doubts. He also had faith and knew that despite all the losses, the Lord would stand by him.  His life certainly was full of tragedy yet he still believed. Job’s faith is a comfort to me.

Have you noticed that there are quite a few scriptures about not being afraid, not worrying, not doubting, but instead putting our faith and hope in God? It seems that He knew we would have struggles, fears, questions, and doubts. He knew we’d need Him. (Graphic and fear image are from Power Point clip art)

Here are a few of the scriptures that have helped me:

  • “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” — Isaiah 43:1
  • “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:10
  • “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” — Romans 8:38-29
  • “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7
  • “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” — Psalm 23:4
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11

In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer

My heart is heavy today with the suffering, trials, loss, and pain of so many. The only thing that I can do about it is to pray, read my Bible, and write about what I am thinking and feeling. Perhaps then, I can have some comfort. Another thing that always helps is a good cry and a nap or great night of sleep.

Philippians 4:6 states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

I have been comforted by prayer during the storms in my life, but know that they aren’t always answered in the way that I would have liked. In those cases, I then pray for comfort, peace, wisdom, and understanding. Those can be very hard to come by, but are something that I am trying.

I also want to be sure to include the thanksgiving portion of that scripture. I am thankful for so much that the Lord has provided for me and my son. We may have lost my husband and his dad, but we know where he is. We know that he has seen our Lord face to face. I have to tell you, each time I think of that, I cry happy and sad tears.

We have been comforted and sustained by our faith and our loved ones. We have suffered and still don’t understand the loss. I am not sure when I will, but, there there is light now more than darkness. For  that I am truly comforted. Now, we can remember something good along with the sadness. Okay, so here goes.

“Lord, so many of us are in pain, are dealing with tremendous losses, and are suffering. Please watch over us, help us through these storms, and provide us with the peace and comfort that only You can give us.

“In Your mercy, hear our prayers about:

  • Deaths of our loved ones whether suddenly or by a long illness – including spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle, cousin, and friend
  • The long suffering of a loved one
  • Illnesses and viruses, including COVID-19
  • Cancers and tumors and the treatments
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Mental health issues
  • Heart attacks or transplants
  • Surgeries and the recovery
  • Violence and hate
  • Bullying and threats from others
  • Job losses
  • Uncertainty of our loved one’s safety
  • Health both physical and mental of our military
  • Safety and health for our law enforcement, first responders, nurses, doctors, military, and all trying to help those who are sick or dying
  • Losses of our lives as we knew them prior to COVID
  • Racial strife and injustice
  • Treating others poorly just because they are different than us
  • Eviction from home and homelessness
  • School and learning challenges for our children and young people
  • Stress of teachers and all educators in finding the right balance
  • Our leaders and the ability to govern again with healthy debate that isn’t threatening or hateful
  • Freedom and our democracy
  • Our clergy and religious leaders in this very different time
  • Hunger and not being able to have enough food for families
  • Losses of our beloved pets who truly are part of the family
  • Uncertainty of life
  • Suffering and challenges of daily life

“Lord, may we know You are always there for us. May we reach out and help each other through these hardships. May we provide comfort and love and listen when someone needs to talk.

“May we bear one another burdens as You instructed us to do.  May we treat one another with kindness, respect, compassion, honesty, and empathy.  And, may we always, always love.

“In Your Mercy, Lord, Hear Our Prayer. Amen.”

(images from Power Point clip art)