Every now and then, someone says something that just floors me and I have no idea how to answer. I remember one such time when I was talking to a non-Christian friend and the topic turned to something coming up which I was dreading. The comment of, “that’s the problem with you Christians – you say you have faith and trust God but you’re still afraid,” was not the response I was expecting. We hadn't even been talking about God!
I wish I’d had a good response at the time but all I could think was, “yeah ... duh ... your point?”
Of course I’m still afraid! I’m human, aren’t I? If becoming a Christian automatically took away all our fears, everyone would want to be one! It doesn't take away fear any more than it takes away pain. But then, isn’t that the point of faith? Doing something you’re afraid of and trusting God with the outcome? At least, I think it is. It wouldn’t take much faith to do something if we knew it was a certainty.
Just because I know God will get me through doesn’t mean I’m not scared. Fear and faith aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, I happen to believe our greatest faith is shown through our greatest fears. When we face something despite our fears because we know that God will hold us through it.
We had a duck unexpectedly come to visit this week. I know, weird. I got up one morning, looked out the back yard and there it was – a big black duck. Quite possibly the biggest duck I've ever seen. Beautiful, but big. And with a sharp looking beak. It stayed for two whole days before flying (?) off to who knows where. My animal-loving girls were ecstatic! It didn't take them long to name it (Grandpa Duck) and claim it as their pet. The duck liked sitting just outside our door, so the girls sat on the other side of the door chatting to it, captivated by every move it made.
Of course, it was a different story when we actually went outside and that piece of glass wasn’t between them. My two-year-old was happy to chat to the duck and follow it around – until it looked at her. It turned, she sprinted. Toward me. She was climbing up my legs before I could even move my arms to pick her up. She was terrified, but knew I could be trusted. She put her faith in me. Just like I put my faith in God.
Do I have fears? Absolutely! Enough to make me curl up in a ball and never leave the shelter of a nice, clean (spider-free) corner of my bedroom – if I let them. Which I don’t. Why? Because, apart from that being a ridiculously silly way to live, I have faith in the God who is bigger than any of them.
And unlike me, who could have quite easily failed to protect my daughter (against the scary, terrifying, uh, duck...), God never will. My biggest fears are nothing compared to his love and care for me. No matter what happens in life, I know that God will be there for me, protecting me, comforting me, directing me. In that, I have complete faith.
And you can too.