Have you ever experienced an internal conflict? A relationship that was confusing, a looming decision that was unclear, or emotions that seemed to contradict each other? You are not alone.
Earlier this morning I came across a verse in the Bible that I had highlighted three years ago. When I read the verse again today, I was instantly transported back in time to the situation in which the verse spoke to me so meaningfully. It was Psalm 34:4
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Three years ago, we had just made the decision for me to accept a new job and move our family from the city that we had grown up in. Away from family, away from deep friendships, and toward the unknown. While I was thoroughly convinced that the decision was correct, there were many uncertainties about the future, and when I was honest with myself, I knew that I was nervous at times.
It was at that point that the words, “he delivered me from all my fears” leapt off the page and gave me great comfort.
Now … fast forward to this spring. Again, I find myself with a sense of nervousness about the future. Not for myself this time, but for the ministry that I lead. In recent weeks, much of my prayer life has centered on the faithfulness and sovereignty of God, and I have repeated that phrase countless times.
You might think that fear would no longer be an issue for me in at this point in my journey. And I really didn’t think that it was. Until, that is, I read Psalm 34:4 this morning and tension within me revealed itself. One powerful emotion quickly emerged, and with almost the same speed, so did the opposite emotion.
Like a trigger being pulled, I instantly realized that yes, I was deeply fearful about the future of the ministry. Whether the fear was rational or not was irrelevant. The feeling of fear was real. But then, like an immediate echo, I felt an overwhelming sense of deep peace that dissolved my surprising fear. Again, as in the past, the faithful and sovereign Lord “delivered me from all of my fears”!
So … what about you? What are the fears that you need to be delivered from? Do you have a leadership decision that is paralyzing you? How about a relationship issue? Something in your school life? A parenting challenge? Does part of your future feel “unknown” at this point? What are you fearful of?
Here is my invitation: Dust off your old copy of the Bible (or search the Bible online for the first time) and find the book of Psalms. Read through a few of them, maybe one a day or a few each day, and let them speak to your heart. Don’t overanalyze what you read; just listen. Listen for what God might be saying to you today. You just may hear the words of comfort and hope that you need!