“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:28
Over the past few days, on the heels of the heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, VA and following the news on the growing tensions between the US and North Korea I have really been struggling with fear. Growing up, I was always extremely fearful of natural disasters, war, end-of-the-world type movies/news reports, etc. and those fears crop up every now and then and take over my reasonable grown-up mind. I fully believe that the issues we face today are worthy of our attention and involvement. However, I also believe that the fear that rises in us when being flooded with news of evil and frightening events across our nation and the world is unfounded…because of the God that we serve.
Our pastor shared a prayer on Sunday that you can find here and I found it extremely helpful in facing these issues head on while soaking our hearts and the issues in prayer. This prayer was written specifically for the events in Charlottesville but I believe the repeating line of this prayer can serve to calm fears of any other struggles we are facing as individuals, a nation, and the world. The line states “Oh Lord, only you can make all things new” (emphasis mine). In Revelation 21:5, we find the origin of this prayer, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (emphasis mine)
In the depths of our fears, God meets us there. In the darkness of the hearts of those that hate His children, God shows up. We find in Ephesians 3:20, extremely encouraging words: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory” (emphasis mine). Sometimes I think we forget that our Savior is capable of miracles, able to change hearts, and turn destruction into something beautiful for his glory and our good. These are really dark times and I don’t have an answer for exactly how you or I should get involved. I think God has allowed us the opportunity to make these decisions with his guidance and to act however we feel called to help those in our communities and to promote positive change in our world. But we also have the gift of knowing that, no matter what we choose to do, God is always watching and is always there. So even when we feel hopeless, full of fear, and lack the confidence to do what he calls us to do, He is right beside us and within us.
I encourage you to think about where God might be asking you to contribute in healing wounds of racial division in your community, loving those that are not like you, or praying for the leaders of this nation and across the world for God to change their hearts and minds to think of the greater good of His people. I also encourage you to, above all else, meditate on the sovereignty of our Lord, and settle into the peace of his presence, knowing that he will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:15). No matter what lies ahead, this truth helps to comfort my heart in the face of fear and I hope it does the same for you.