When I’m Afraid


 by Kathy Johnston

Psalm 56:3  When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.

Isaiah 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

February 21, 1991, I received a phone call that turned my world upside down.  That was the day I got the news that my husband of 15 years had a terminal illness.  The following days, weeks and months were a blur as we found out his chances of survival were not good, and involved a bone marrow transplant which at that time was in itself life threatening.  With three young boys at home, needless to say, this was a scary and trying time for us.  And as many of you know, the outcome was not as we had hoped, prayed, and believed for.

A popular song at that time was “Do I Trust You?” by Twila Paris.  I had actually just purchased sheet music for that song earlier that day.  That evening as I sat at the piano and sang the lyrics, I was amazed at the relevance of the words to my current circumstance…and that I “happened” to purchase the music for that song on that day!  Here are some of those lyrics:

I know the answers, I’ve given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity of my soul
I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don’t mean much to me
This time there’s only one thing I need to know

Do I trust You Lord?  Does the robin sing?
Do I trust You Lord?  Does it rain in spring?
You can see my heart, You can read my mind
And you’ve got to know I would rather die
Than to lose my faith in the one I love
Do I trust You Lord?  Do I trust You?

God was so faithful and such an immense strength for me through that time.  And as I look back, I see His handprints in so many ways in my own life and the life of my boys.  Was I always faithful throughout? NO!  But He most certainly has been!  His patience and grace towards us is incredible.

Why these thoughts this morning?  Because once again I’m faced with the unknown.  And I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t scare me.  And yet, I hear His still, small voice reminding me of His presence, love, and care for me- reminding me of His sovereignty.  It really does come down to this one thing:  do I trust Him?  The answer is yes, I do.  Do I still struggle with the “what ifs”….the fear of what could happen?  Yes I do, because I’ve already experienced some of those “what ifs” in my own life, as well as walked through some with people I love.  Stuff happens in this world.  I’m not guaranteed a charmed and easy life because I trust and believe in God.  But I am guaranteed a Father God who loves me, will never leave me, who will always equip me for what He asks me to do or walk through.

So with trembling and with confidence in who I know Him to be, I can truthfully say yes…I trust You, Lord.  Because I know Him…I trust Him.  It’s most likely you won’t trust someone you don’t know.  Do you know Him?  Do you know what His heart is towards those who call Him Lord?  Do you know His personality, His character?  Those are the things that give me strength when I am afraid.  I know Him and so I trust Him, even when I am afraid.  And that is what gives me peace and calms my fears.  I don’t know the future.  But He does…and I know He is MOST trustworthy!

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