"Fear Not To Trust Me In the Storm"

Wow. Sitting here in tears and just have to share how God's faithfulness has blown me completely away this morning. This is not a well-edited, well-formatted, well-planned post, but an "I've got to share what God is doing NOW!" post.

This morning I was suddenly hit with the fact that 2015 is less than 10 days away. That shouldn't be a big deal. I usually love the beginning of a new year...time for a new planner, new goals, fresh starts (and my birthday on the 31st of December :)).

2015, however, is a different story. I've been dreading 2015 for a long time. A situation in our family which has been somewhat dormant for years is scheduled to rear its ugly head again in 2015. Back in October, when I realized that "the date" was then just a year away, I began having panic attacks again...for the first time in a long, long time.  I've struggled more with anxiety and fear in the months since than I have in years.

During the holiday season, life has been too busy and my mind has been far too occupied to think much about "the year" coming up. But this morning it hit. Hard. The realization that just a few days stand between now and those four digits I've been dreading for over 7 years made me physically sick.

As I was driving home from dropping Billy off at work, my mind raced and I tried to pray, unable to really form coherent sentences. I fussed at myself...reminding myself of Tom Stuart's famous phrase, "Remember what you know!"

I know...really know...that God is faithful. I know that His sovereign plan is perfect, and that He is working, always and in all things, for our good. He has shown us that in unmistakeable ways through dark, dark days. He reminds me often of His faithfulness, His sovereignty, His goodness, and His love. Just yesterday morning Bro. Gary preached on the kindness and love of God revealed in Jesus's advent.

I know those things. And yet 2015 holds a great deal of uncertainty...known uncertainty, if that makes sense, because of course all years hold uncertainty...and I still struggle with that.

As I was driving and pondering and trying not to fret and trying to pray and recounting to myself many of the things God has shown us about His faithfulness and sovereignty and goodness over the last 10 years or so, I decided that my "one little word" for 2015 is going to be trust. 

I had earlier considered pray as my word for 2015, and that is still where I want my focus to be in the coming year, but as the words to "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" flowed through my mind this morning, I decided that I need the daily reminder to trust. I know I need to. I know why I need to. I know Who I need to trust. I just need to trust. 

Prayer will be a huge facet of that, along with staying in the Word. The Holy Spirit uses prayer and the Word to do His work in us, and I know that I don't even have the ability to trust on my own.

I sat down when I got home to map out the next few days [In case you are reading this from a cave somewhere, it is now "three sleeps" until Christmas. We did finally get our tree up, but we are not finished shopping and we have a whole list of "traditions" we haven't gotten to yet, along with just normal life stuff, like the fact that if I don't get to the gym at least three times this week, I'm not going to be able to walk soon. Ahem.], and have my quiet time. I got behind on my advent devotional over the weekend, so I was determined to get caught up today.

I love the way that God's perfect timing even extends to using our weakness for good. Sunday's Scripture reading was Psalm 27:1-6:

1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Yes, I was in tears by the time I finished reading those words. As Bro. Gary would say, I know that that my reading that today was not "chance and circumstance", but the divine providence of God.

Then I read the devotional content for the day, from Louie Giglio's Waiting Here for You, An Advent Journey of Hope. It started out by saying that in the midst of the "fray and the fury", we must keep our eyes on Jesus. It then talked about the attacks of our enemies, with a reminder that our hope is in the One who fights for us, and our safety is secured by His love and power.

Each day's reading includes a hymn. It's rare for me to come across a hymn with which I'm unfamiliar, but I had never heard this one before. I can't wait to learn it, though, as its words are a perfect reminder for the year to come:

 Fear not to trust Me in the storm,
I’m always very near.
I come thy needless fears to calm,
Then, weary ones, don’t fear.

Fear not, I am with thee,
Fear not, I am with thee,
Fear not, I am with thee,
Am with thee all the way.

 I may not always seem so near
As thou wouldst have Me be;
But in the calm and in the storm,
I all thy dangers see.

 Fear not to trust My mighty arm;
It bro’t salvation down.
I suffered much to give thee life,
To give to thee a crown.

 I’m always near thee in the storm,
To raise thy sinking feet,
If only thou wilt trust My word,
And My commandments keep. 

 Fear not, the storm will soon be o’er,
The victory soon be won;
Then lean upon My mighty arm,
And sing, I’m going home. 

 And when the storm of life is past,
And you have faithful been,
I’ll take you to that blest abode
That’s not defiled with sin.

 There no more storms shall cause thee fear;
The river will be crossed;
Then thou shalt rest within the gates,
With all the heavenly host.

~Rev. J.W. Howe

 Just a humorous word about this hymn. The words are so excellent, I was stunned to find that it was only published in two hymnals, back in the late 1800s. I wondered why it had been published so rarely. Then I came across a copy of the hymn itself. I'm guessing that part of the reason this hymn was not used more frequently had something to do that the melody of the chorus goes up to a high F. :) Not a good vocal range for this alto, anyway! :)

Do you have a "word" for 2015? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! Are there fears and uncertainties about the coming year?  Email me through the box to the right, or share in the comments; I'd love to pray for you.

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