[Originally published as Hope Instead of Fear]
One of my favorite things about being a follower of Jesus is brought to mind each time I suffer insomnia.
Waking in the middle of the night is when I’m most vulnerable to fear. There’s no noise or busyness to distract me from my thoughts or feelings. It’s just me and my mind facing the dark together.
Often my thoughts wander through a maze of unanswered prayers and self-accusations when I’m lying awake at night. Thankfully, my normal sleep pattern consists of drifting off to dreamland and staying there until my alarm goes off—or until my cat tickles my face with her fluffy fur.
A couple of times a month I wake up around 2 am and lay awake for over an hour. Sometimes negative thinking gets the upper hand and I end up feeling afraid to face the next day—or any day. This is when I remember one of my favorite things about Jesus: He never leaves us to fight our fear alone. This is when I pour my heart out to Him and shed a tear or two as the release and relief of giving Him my concerns lightens the burden I’m bearing.
Jesus whispers a reminder that unanswered prayers are works in progress. We don’t need to fear that He doesn’t hear. We don’t need to fear that we’re unworthy of having our prayers heard; all believers are washed by the blood of Jesus.
Listen to Psalm 56:13 KJV:
For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? Psalm 56:13 KJV
We may wake in the dark and fear the light of morning—fear facing what the next day will bring. But God didn’t deliver us to desert us. God delivered us to bring us into His merciful light day after day and night after night. When we feel horrible with fear, we need to remember whose we are; we are God’s children.
When a young child wakes in the morning, he or she seldom worries about what’s for breakfast or about whether or not their parent will meet them at the kitchen table. Children show up at the breakfast nook because they trust their parent will show up too. Our Heavenly Father always has and always will provide our daily bread. So, while I handed my heavy heart to God, He reminded me my job is to simply show up.
He is the power, the glory, and the story.
I’m an inspirational scribe who is to pray, believe, and receive. In a sense, we’re all scribes of the Spirit. God has preplanned works and words we’re to share with whomever He brings into our lives. Often, we won’t have any idea the words we spoke into someone’s life were a powerful answer to their own prayers. Our job is to keep showing up for God’s work each day, keep praying His will is done in and through us, and keep believing.
If we do these things, we’ll keep receiving His power to complete the projects He has planned for us to do.
So, what should we do when we face fear in the dark? Listen to what David says:
And now I’d like to close with a poem:
All the Lord asks of us
is that we would believe
He’s able to rescue us
and fill our hearts with peace
All that Jesus requires of us
is that we seek His glory
and then He’ll empower us
to share the Gospel story.