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For When You are Afraid

“For I know that my Redeemer lives and at the last, he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh, I shall see God, who I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” (Job 19:25-27

I sat across from my counselor as she diagnosed the words that left my mouth – a  jumble of thoughts spilled out onto the coffee table in front of me. The many months of thoughts and shame I tucked into my heart and mind were left for her to untangle. 

I had become so crushed by my mind; I could no longer escape. I could no longer find freedom from the weight it placed on me. My thoughts could no longer be trusted.

As my counselor untangled the web in front of her, she acknowledged the real pain I was feeling and restored truth to the front of my mind, “I am not unfixable.” As a Bible study teacher and writer, I know the right Sunday school answers. All the verses on fear. I have heard the harsh words of others that “I must not trust God enough.” I have prayed a thousand, no, a million prayers for relief from this thorn that gives me no rest. 

Thirty-three years. 

17,344,800 minutes.

8,935,200 of those minutes, I have fought a raging war with crippling anxiety. 

This chest-crushing, soul-churning foe makes you question all and trust none. The angst that makes everything look like a threat and robs you of your peace. This is the reality of anxiety. The reality I often feel trapped in, and maybe you do too. 

In the midst of hard days, God brings Job to mind. I have no doubt God was purposeful in His placing of this book in Scripture for each of us to find hope within its message. We are not promised a life of no troubles as believers, in fact, the opposite. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). This life will not be one of ease, but the Gospel is greater than all our trouble.  

Despite what Job faced, he knew one thing to be true- the truth of who his God is. 

God is our great Redeemer, the one who is victorious over even our greatest pain and struggles. Job couldn’t see the victory of the cross as we can, yet nevertheless, He trusted the Creator of all. No matter what our circumstances display, what our mind presses against us, we have a mighty Warrior who has defeated our greatest foe.

Every thought that seeks to hold us captive, Jesus took to the cross. 

Each tear that falls from our eyes, Jesus holds and knows them all.

We, like Job, can trust in the truth of the Gospel rather than our circumstances. 

My counselor said this thorn might be mine for the rest of my days, but the Gospel is there to meet me in it. His strength is full, sure, and supplied for us. Her reminder that this battle is not mine to fight alone, no, Jesus is my Redeemer who will go to battle for me. 

That is the truth for you too. He will fight for you. 

He didn’t leave Job alone and without relief, without help, and He won’t leave you there either. 

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