When God warns us “In this world you will have trouble”… I’m totally getting it, YEP…SOME DAYS (MOMENTS/DAYS/SEASONS) ARE GONNA BLOW. (John 16:33)
When God comforts us with “Fear not, for I am with thee”, I think He’s saying to me: STOP PANICKING – I’M RIGHT HERE! (Isaiah 41:10)
And when God says “laugh without fear”, I’m imagining CONFIDENT HYSTERIA! (Proverbs 31:25)
How do I get to “confident hysteria” in my life? How can I truly laugh at the future when I know it’s going to suck sometimes? And…I don’t know when or how it will suck. So now I’m worried about worrying. Great! How in the world, will I “consider it joy when I encounter trials.” (James 1:2). I have loved studying this topic and realizing that it is only by relying on strength from God, that I can do this. Every day. Believing doesn’t remove the trials and suckfests of life. God doesn’t say “believe this, or do this, and I will protect you from harm”. He tells us to not be afraid of the future and the trials, because He is WITH us. He is FOR us. He celebrates with us and He cries with us.
Have you ever had to do something hard, and had a bestie go with you for support? Someone that loves you, understands you, will encourage you. Maybe you had a really hard training run and wanted someone to pace you and help you finish it. Or you had to go to the vet to say goodbye to a beloved furr-ball. Or you had to dole out a tough consequence to one of your kids and wanted your spouse to be there. We want to be supported and validated and encouraged. Can you imagine having your best best friend there, someone that loves you completely unconditionally, will encourage you, give you strength, to get through whatever trials are ahead? Even in the worst of the worst, God won’t shy away. He will embrace us and comfort us when the world is crashing down around us. He won’t take away the pain, but He will walk through it with us. He will RUN through it with us. He will help us run tirelessly! He will give us WINGS LIKE EAGLES so we can soar! (Isaiah 40:31)
In some areas of my life I am care-free, joyful, and even confident. And in other areas (motherhood, for example), I can worry myself into the craziest worst-case scenarios you can imagine. Think high school daughter going on a bus trip to DC… well of course the bus is going to slide off an icy bridge, be bombed, or have some fluke carbon monoxide poisoning. Those are all very likely, amirite?! Those were some of the longest days ever. And while those tragedies were very unlikely, they were very real in my mind. And they COULD be possible. What I have come to is a coping strategy for my worries and anxiety where I play out the worst case scenario, but play it ALL the way out. Whether I’m worried about my kids, the next race, or finances, I want to always remember that God’s with me, He loves me. The outcome of my fears does not change WHO I am or WHOSE I am. This world will have trials. There will be suckfests that make me long for heaven. But I am taking heart, Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33). I would love to get to a place in my journey where I can look to the future trials and think about them with joy. A good hill workout is like: 💥💪BAM! I got this! You get to the base of the hill and you put a smile on your face and HERE WE GO! Because you’ve done it before and you know you can get to the top. And you KNOW these hills are going to make you stronger. The first hill repeat workout you did, you may not have had this joy. It takes practice. We have to build up our spiritual muscle memory in the same way. I want to be at the front of a trial and have a genuine smile (James 1:2) because I KNOW that I will get to the top, with God giving me strength + comfort + company.
I’m praying these things over all areas of my life. Lord, thanks for being with me and giving me strength. Help me to be fearless of whatever comes in the future, and help me to have peace and true joy that I have these trials, that will grow my faith and bring more perseverance for the next trial. AMEN!