I have a great fear of dentists. I have never had a bad experience. In fact, I’ve never had so much as a cavity. Yet, right now? I have this one tooth that is giving me a bit of a fit. With my over-active imagination and a little help from WebMD, I’m pretty sure I need a root canal. And I’m terrified. Sure, I’ve have four c-sections and one emergency appendectomy which almost killed me, but a needle in my mouth just seems barbaric and painful. Did I mention I’m afraid?
Sometimes, God calls us to fearful things. He leads us to walk on stormy seas and to risk all that we have in obedience to Him. He does not, however, tell us the what and then leave us to figure out the how. So, what is a person to do when God sends us out to confront our fears?
Then the Lord said to him, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.” – Genesis 31:3 HCSB
Go back home. Those must have been scary words for Jacob. Surely, he still remembered why he left home. His brother, Esau, was intent on killing him for stealing their father’s blessing. Jacob had fled for his life and had no reason to believe anything had changed in Esau’s heart. What was Jacob’s response? Honest obedience.
In the face of great fear and distress, Jacob does four things.
- He calls upon God. (Genesis 32:9) Whether we are dealing with fear, disappointment or sadness, there is only one place we should turn.
- He remembers his place before God. (Genesis 32:10) We are deserving of nothing good from God’s hand.
- He admits his fear to God. (Genesis 32:11) We must go to God with our feelings.
- He remembers the Word of God. (Genesis 32:12) In our times of fear and distress, we must remember the promises of God.
There is no way around it – sometimes God calls us to face the fearful things in our lives. But, look back at God’s words to Jacob. He instructs Jacob to face his fear and He promises to be with him in the very same breath.
You do not face your fears alone. Whether God has called you to the mission field, to face a scary illness or loss or to stand for Him in the face of opposition – He goes with you.
And, next week, He and I are heading to the dentist.
You, my friends, are adored. I pray your weekend is full of things that remind you of that truth.
~~~~Stacy Edwards is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.