“But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Mathew 8:26
Many people do not know that as a child and a young adult, my life was controlled by fear. I used to get so afraid when I was younger that I had a particular medication prescription to help me with the stomach issues that stemmed from my anxiety and fear. I had not thought about this former condition of mine for a long time, but as I was reflecting on the scriptures and words the Lord put before me this Sabbath these thoughts flooded my memory.
Fear and faith – faith and rest. These are the thoughts that started my trip down memory lane. Then the progression of the thoughts continued and I related unrest to fear, the ultimate lack of faith in what is promised yet not seen. As a child my fears were consuming and there was no rest, there was no peace, and there was no faith - at least faith that was real.
That is where my thoughts got stuck this afternoon as I was praying about where God had taken me on this little field trip: faith, fear, and rest. How could I have observed the Sabbath as a child if I didn't really ever have rest from my fears? How could I have observed the Sabbath as a child if my faith was really never real? But then, did I ever really observe the Sabbath? Or, instead did I just go through the actions (or lack of actions as it may be) because I was told to do so and not for reasons of faith? To go to church, to not shop on that particular day, or to celebrate a particular feast with the customary actions and observances...
Real faith requires us to put away our fears. Real faith requires us to rest in what we cannot see and in what we cannot understand. Real faith requires us to trust in a God who has told us He is faithful and has not been proven wrong on this point since the beginning of time. This type of faith I did not have a grasp of as a child and young adult and so my fears ruled my life and left me with empty rituals that covered up and may have looked like faith from the outside, but on the inside fear reigned and unrest was the consistent flux in my soul because there was no understanding of a faithful God who I could rest in and who would always be there for me.
Well, as you probably can guess, I am no longer controlled by fear. My fears left when an ever faithful God stepped into my life and began to teach me what real faith in my life could do to all the fears that used to control me. Every once and a while the enemy lets these fears creep into my thinking, but the promises of God and His faithful ability to keep everything He has ever said He will do does not let me dwell on those thoughts for long. Each fear is conquered by faith. And each time I utilize the gift of faith that has been given to me, the quicker rest is restored in my life and real Sabbath living is mine to claim within the fellowship I have with Jesus Christ my savior, redeemer, and faithful friend.
My lesson this Sabbath has been a good reminder for me today and I hope it was a story that will bring those who still wrestle with fears and faith a bit of comfort and hope in what Jesus can do when you trust your fears to Him in faith.