Running Scared (Part Two): God Speaks

Click here for a description of what this about and here for the first set of reflections.

K (our 4 year old daughter) once famously, at least in our house, uttered words that so appropriately match our own hearts. While we forget the specific context, Lydia exhorted the two year old version of our daughter to “Trust me”. K’s response was instant: “Truss you?”. It was a question. Despite all evidence to the contrary, children don’t always trust. It’s part of internal compass that directs us first to ourselves and our own understanding. God says, “Trust me”. And we say “Truss you?” It’s a question and we so desperately need our compass realigned.

‘Trust me’ is starting to make more sense.  That exhortation is the mother lode of comfort for fearful people.  I want to remember that trust can be fed with the evidence that God, indeed, is trustworthy…”

As I mentioned last week, the first section made me ready to hear not only what my own fears were saying, but even more so, to hear from God’s Word. To have my compass realigned.  In this second section (chapters five -eight), “God Speaks”, I was not disappointed by the words & Word that Welch had to share to my own fearful and anxious heart.

Did you know that God’s most frequent command in the Bible is “Do not be afraid”?  I knew that already, but I have to say that I have only recently been thinking about it in relationship to my fears and had not connected all the dots as Welch does in chapter five.  After all, who is it that issues the command?  What do I know from my past experiences about Him?  But fear and worry don’t work through the Truth so logically.  So here I found these great reminders, that as I run from some things in my fear – that I should run to Someone.  To the God who is my Father, who is my King, and is generous.

What is important is where we turn, or to whom we turn we are afraid…Faith is not blind…Faith [is] about knowing God in an intimate, personal way and trusting him because he is trustworthy.  Faith sees more, not less.”

I want to see more…Lord, open my eyes!

“Scripture too is crammed with stories about God’s faithfulness, stories that are meant to be retold because, in our fear, we are so quick to forget.”

This reminder, at the beginning of chapter six, jumps out at me because I have been thinking so much about my forgetfulness – my failure to remember. And so, Welch reminds us of the Israelites in the wilderness and lest we focus on the harshness of the journey, with a pastor’s heart we are shown in God’s word the tenderness and love of our Lord. And we are tested: to trust for today (daily bread)and to rest in Him (specifically on the Sabbath).  And in chapter seven, we are directed to the God who delivers, but not always at the time or in the way that we might have dreamed.  But there is a deliverance that comes to all believers, by virtue of the life, death, & life again of Christ Jesus.  And finally that (chapter eight), that our “worry is a sign that I am in danger.”  And this because of where worry takes us – away from our Deliverer and further into ourselves.

But there is the exhortation:  “Say it: ‘Lord, I trust you.'”  And God is worthy of that trust – may we grow into the fullness of that trust these days of our life.

What say you?  What captured your heart and challenged your usual ways of thinking?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gina on July 23, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I found it interesting how Welch addressed all those spiritual things we do to combat worry as mere “responses to our growing knowledge of God. The knowledge of God comes first. Apart from this personal knowledge, Scriptural advice is no different from the thought stoppage or imaginary vacations that secular treatments offer.” So true!

    Later in chapter 5, Welch states that “we tend to judge God’s words by our own feelings and sensory observations…God’s self-revelation is a higher authority than our feelings.” Sometimes my feelings are so contrary to the truth presented in Scripture.

    Chapter 7 hit me the hardest. “After-the-fact deliverances” hardly seem like good news. But this ties into the above two points: just because I don’t feel like “the goodness of our God is certain” doesn’t mean it’s not true. And in order to lay hold of the reality of that truth, it’s not enough to just do all the right things. It does me no good to pray or read the Bible or do all the good Christian things I’m supposed to do if I’m not growing closer to God himself.

    I want to “watch and endure, not worry…I need the mind of Christ. I can do with nothing less.” I want Christ’s resurrection (the ultimate “after-the-fact deliverance”) to inform my perspective on my fears and worries, so that I can “grow to be an optimist by faith.”

    Reply

  2. Posted by adamtisdale on July 23, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks Gina for sharing your thoughts…did you read through it again?

    There really are some very good thoughts here.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Johanna on July 26, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Gina pointed out a quote that stuck out to me when I read the book too. In chapter 5, it mentions how we tend to think our feelings are the same as what God is feeling. It’s so comforting to know this is not true. But it is hard to understand just how gracious and merciful he really is. We don’t deserve it. Following that quote on page 69 was a funny quote that really packed a punch, “fear reminds us of our own puniness.”

    Adam, you mentioned that God repeats many times “Do not be afraid” (or some other phrasing). I never thought that there could be more than one reason why it was repeated so many times. First, it is important to know. Second, “the person speaking must see that you are not responding appropriately” (95). I thought the second point was a great observation and so true. How many times does God tell us to not worry and we go ahead and do things our own way?

    I love this book because I can apply it right now to my life. I have learned so much and am learning how to dissect my fears and get to the bottom of what is really going on inside of me. There are so many good points made that I can’t say them all.

    Last but not least, “I want the Spirit to open my eyes so I can be thankful” (91). God does so much for me that I don’t always realize. I want to be thankful and aware of what he does for me.

    Reply

  4. Posted by adamtisdale on July 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks Jo for sharing your thoughts…keep reading and commenting!

    Reply

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