When I Am Afraid - Word&Way

When I Am Afraid

“[Lord] when I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

These words from the Psalmist are certainly applicable for us today. If we didn’t already have sufficient reasons for concern, recent events have certainly given us cause.

Wade ParisWade ParisNot to downplay our current concerns, but it may help if we remember there have been bad days before. As a child, sadness filled our home for days and months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. It took some time for life to be “normal” again.

I was a teen paperboy when we sent troops into battle in Korea. I remember my customers’ concerns as they read the headlines I delivered.

I was at a meeting away from home when 9/11 occurred. I don’t know what I thought I could do; the trauma was hundreds of miles away. But I could not wait to get home. More recently, we learn of innocents being slaughtered abroad.

Recalling these events reminds us that there is evil in our world. True, but it is not new. Once again, let me quote the Psalmist: “My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. Fear and trembling grip me…. If only I had wings like a dove, I would fly away” (Psalm 55:6). Those words were offered to God thousands of years ago.

Like the Psalmist, most of us would like to fly away when there is danger. That is not an option. Even if we could fly away, that is not the answer for our fears. Life is not always tidy, but it goes on. One might liken existence to a messy kitchen, but you still need to cook and eat.

Though I certainly am no great wise guru, I do have a suggestion or two for our fearful passage through this world. Depending on one’s fears, we should ask ourselves if there is anything we can or should do? Sometimes we create our own distress and could do a lot to calm our own fears.

At other times, our strife is beyond our control, like the recent horrors around the world. In these circumstances, I once again go to God’s word: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own wisdom, but acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path [life]” (Proverbs 3:5).

Wade Paris writes a weekly syndicated column titled “The Shepherd Calls.”