Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I was an emotional mess. I had been in a hard place for a long time. Pressed from all sides, I was worn and battered. After a particularly difficult night, plagued by horrid nightmares and consuming anxiety, I was physically relieved to see the first hints of daylight.
Morning is my favorite time of day. I grabbed my Bible and a cup of coffee, and headed to my back porch, eager to escape the unsettledness of my bad dreams. As I walked out on the porch, I noticed a long vine had breached the screen. A couple of weeks earlier, I had noticed the rip and, as a temporary barrier from little critters, stuck a brick in front of it.
When I saw the vine, the Lord spoke clearly to my heart: until I dealt with the root of the problem, vines would continue to get in. I knew exactly how that applied to my situation. The root of all my current struggles was fear. I had not dealt with my fear and it had invaded every area of my life.
Fear is ugly. It steals joy. Inflates problems. Distorts perspective. Grows doubt. Eliminates peace. Fear is the opposite of trust.
As a Christian, I had said I trusted the Lord, yet when it came down to it, I really didn’t. Sure, I trusted Him with my eternity, but not the daily struggles in life. I didn’t trust Him to be my defender against the weapons formed against me; my provider when my job security was threatened; my voice of truth against the lies; or my peace in the midst of the storm.
The unwelcome vine was a powerful lesson and a turning point in my faith walk. I decided to surrender my fears and truly trust the Lord. Now, when I find myself getting overwhelmed or anxious, I stop and prayerfully evaluate my situation. I must always remember to focus on the attributes of God and His promises. God is always, always faithful. And His Word is true.
But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head. (Psalm 3:3)