For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you."
- Isaiah 41:13
I couldn’t sleep this past Saturday night.
It's not that I wasn’t tired, I was beat. I went to bed early even. But sleep wouldn’t come. Instead, I had a visit from an old enemy, Fear. He always comes at inopportune times, disrupting my peace, whispering horrible scenarios in my ear. He told me of all the ways things would fall apart. He went straight to my most vulnerable places and twisted my thoughts.
The enemy had me right where he wanted me－in the dark with my demons.
But, I’ve been there before. I have battled Fear many times (And yes, it is always a battle). He'll probably never leave me alone. But, I have learned to fight back. So, I took up the only weapon that can defeat my fears: faith.
I started reciting Psalm 23.
It was just where my mind went. I actually learned it as a kid. My Great Grandma had this plaque, and I thought it was beautiful. The words were so comforting that they just stuck with me. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want… He leads me… He guides me… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will FEAR NO EVIL, because you are with me.” Those words, “I will fear no evil, because you are with me,” I put them on repeat in my mind. “I will fear no evil… you are with me… you are with me… you are with me...” And, eventually those words were real to me. I knew that I wasn’t alone. I was fully protected, seen, known, and loved. I wasn’t just repeating those words to myself. Jesus was there, whispering them to me, giving me peace. And, Fear was gone, defeated by the comforting truth that Jesus was right there with me all along. I just needed to remind myself.
I say all of this because I know I’m not alone in battling fear.
We all have our 3 a.m. moments, at least from time to time. And, in this current distressing climate, I think we've all been a little ramped up from our personal normal. So, I urge you to cling to your faith when fear comes. Fight the lies that come from fear with your faith in God’s true Word. Even just to say “Jesus” in the dark is to wage war on the enemy. There is power in that name, there is love, there is hope, and there is victory.
When do you find yourself most susceptible to fears?
How could reciting scripture in those moments be helpful to you?