Fear is debilitating. And that is the main purpose of fear. Whether it is staying in a marriage that is difficult, losing a source of income, or, as in the example above, having a baby after the age of 40, buying into fearfulness means that we believe God doesn’t notice when swallows fall anymore.
I’m just unsure why the collective *we* think we are due a life that is easy and enjoyable and fun and full of all of the people and things we want. And that when people disappoint us and things go awry, all we need to do is read up on more self-help books, get counseling, quit parenting, get divorced and give those annoying people (even mentally) the hand signs that mean, so to speak, “get lost.” Then there are those spirit-filled-with-what-kind-of-spirit-IS-that kind of people who preach and teach that all we need to do is WANT an easy life, and CALL one to ourselves, and CHOOSE to have one; that the reason things are hard are because the easiness isn’t getting “spoken into” existence or, perhaps, you need to just choose a different pet as your own personal spirit guide. And when the god you’ve made doesn’t suit you anymore, just trade he/she/it in for a different model. The world is full of people excusing and glorifying themselves. That is one reason why when hardship occurs, when the rug gets pulled out, the fruit is anger, resentment, bitterness, cynicism, and even more hatred of God. And fear. Lots of fear.
The truth is that our world has fallen. We’ve rebelled against a holy God who gave us our very breath. If our own hearts convict us (and we all have consciences), if our own homes are not the picture of heaven-on-earth (and we all have selfish selves in them), how might we expect the world at large to serve our own expectations? We can’t even meet our OWN expectations!
When those expectations clash with reality, faith really is the only way to turn. Faith in our own efforts and plans or faith in God’s sovereignty and goodness. Yes, go forth with those plans and efforts to correct the wrong (see a doctor when you’re ill) but don’t put all of your hope and trust in that doctor, and certainly do not sin in the midst of trying to “fix” a problem.
I’m glad I didn’t know that Ruby had Down Syndrome when I was pregnant. I know I’m weak-kneed and would have traded my peace and enjoyment of the pregnancy for fear of the unknown. And other than in my Bible, there are not a whole lot of places in the world that are telling me to “fear not”. Rather, there are multiple places blaming me for any fear I have.
And you know what? As much as I wish Ruby didn’t have Down Syndrome, I’m still glad she is here. I’m 40 now. I don’t know if I will have another baby, but I don’t fear having one. I don’t even know if the children I have right now will get through life unscathed by tragedy or illness or hardship, but I somehow doubt it.
All I know is that the peace of God in the midst of trials is very sweet, indeed. And so, sometimes, are the results of those trials. Fear not. God is bigger than the boogie man.