Sweet Peace: Overcoming Fear
Waking up and hearing about the latest tragedy generates fear in all of us, even if it is just a little bit. Given the state of our world, it is easy to be overcome with fear and let it be the driving force of our lives.
With the week we have experienced in our nation, I believe this article is timely and my hope is that it would encourage you if you are battling fear this week or on a regular basis. It sure reminded me of God's truth, which is always powerful.
I pray you are blessed as you read the words of this fellow Keeper in regard to her battle with fear.
In His Love, Lori
Do you have a fear of the unknown or of the future? Are you fearful for your children? Maybe you are frozen in past fears and it effects you in the present? We have a God who is mightier than our fears. He will "watch over the way of the righteous,” Psalms 1:6 and "will give relief from distress and hear your prayers,” Psalms 4:1. He has taught me to replace fear with a sweet peace.
The first few months of my marriage was marital bliss until my husband informed me of his upcoming overnight business trip. I had never been home alone at night- ever. When he left a deep fear rocked my world.
Every scary story I had heard at a slumber party, in my college dorm, or on the news quickly filled my thoughts. Hours passed while I sat, gripped in terror, awake in my bed.
Suddenly, a noise outside spurred my imagination. I was sure it was a thief or a murderer. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the largest butcher knife, put it under my pillow, and called my husband. He patiently tried to calm my fears. After a lengthy discussion, mostly on my part, and with no further noises nor rattling of doors or windows, my husband said good night. He was certain it was a cat on his nightly prowl. I remained anxious and awake.
The hours passed slowly. I called my parents, my in-laws, my two sisters, and my sister-in-law (all lived 3,000 miles from me). Finally dawn arrived and the lightness of day lifted the fear of night.
A few years later fear again gripped my heart when my seven-week old infant developed a seriously high fever. Within an hour, I visited the pediatrician, the ER, and admitted him to the hospital. Before me in a stark room, tubes criss-crossed over my baby’s tiny body. Monitors flashed his vitals and an IV bag dripped fluids into him. He lay helpless, feverish, and whimpering in the cold, gray hospital crib. My husband arrived and we both cried.
I heard the monitors beep, the movement of the nurses, and the muffled sound of the staff in the hall. I remember the doctor entered and informed us it was spinal meningitis.
Fear paralyzed me: fear of the unknown, fear of the uncontrollable, and fear of the future. My mind flooded with questions. Some I verbalized and some I internalized. New in my faith as a Christian, many of my questions were to God. “Why?”
Word spread to our friends. Soon an older couple from our church arrived at the hospital. They talked to us, prayed, sat quietly, and taught us how to trust God in all situations.
That evening my husband went home to be with our 16 month-old daughter. I sat in the sterile room unable to hold my him due to all of the tubes. I touched his sweet little hand and prayed. In the stillness of the night, God spoke to my heart. His love for my child was immeasurably more than mine. I could trust Him with the unknown and with the future. I began to read scripture and truly understand it. “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds,” Philippians 4:6. I felt a peace over my mind, body, and soul. Four long days passed and finally the doctors confirmed the illness was viral and not bacterial. We were able to bring him home.
Since then many situations: auto accidents, medical crises, financial instability, and willful children have invited fear to rear its ugly head. After the meningitis scare, I learned the tools to stop the fear before it had a foothold in my emotions. Prayer, reading and meditating on scripture, working with the trial, and looking for lessons to learn have helped me face the struggles of my life.
The book of Psalms has many comforting verses. A few of my favorites are: “The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear” Psalms 27:1 and “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
My children are now grown and living on their own. My husband travels often and I am alone at night with absolutely no fears (except for snakes, still working on this one). I have learned to trust in God who is "our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” Psalms 46:1 It is a total trust for myself, my husband, and my family, for each day and each situation. It truly is a sweet peace that surpasses all understanding.
By Maria Derminio
*Maria has been married for 40 years. She has 6 grown children & 8 grandchildren. She is a native from upstate NY transplanted to the desert. It took much prayer for her to learn to be content. She loves walks with her hubby, talks with her children, & loving on her grandchildren. Maria has a passion for God's Word and enjoys investing in young moms. She is a contributing writer for Stellar Day Magazine and has also helped to co-lead a Called to be a Keeper Bible study in the desert of Arizona.