This morning I sat in front of the computer with a heavy heart, needing to blink away tears as I responded to a few emails. From someone who just received a note about divorce papers coming her way, from someone whose husband died suddenly, from another who needed to cancel coffee plans because her mother is in the “active dying” stage, according to hospice. There is so much pain in the world. The sunrise today was beautiful, but it never guarantees what the day will bring.
So tonight I flipped through some articles and devotionals I had been saving and this title begged attention: “When Things Fall Apart, Ask God to Relieve Your Fears.” (Daily Hope by Rick Warren, 8/21/2011) The passage he focused on was Lamentations 3:53-57, “My enemies threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. The water flowed above my head, and I cried out, ‘This is the end!’ But I called on your name, Lord, from deep within the well, and you heard me! You listened to my pleading; you heard my weeping! Yes, you came at my despairing cry and told me, ‘Do not fear!'” Jeremiah had plenty of reasons to be afraid. People hated him for the unpopular message God told him to bring to his wayward people. His life looked like it was falling apart, his future uncertain.
From the pit, Jeremiah called out to God. He pleaded, he wept, he cried in despair. God heard, He listened, He came, He said, “Do not fear.” God knows that fear will keep us stuck and maybe even paralyze us. We’re afraid we’re not going to make it, afraid of the future or the unknown, afraid we won’t have control, afraid of what people will think, afraid of making mistakes, afraid that “this is the end.” Is it enough to know that God will draw near when you call Him, that because He is here, there’s no reason to fear?
For the three friends I mentioned at the beginning of this post and for many others who are battling difficult circumstances, I’ll conclude with this quote from Warren, “God is in control and will get you through whatever you’re facing. He will get you out of the pit in his perfect timing. So ask God to relieve your fears.” Cry, plead, weep ~ and know that God hears.