My husband and I were on a cruise in the North Atlantic Ocean heading towards Iceland. I was sitting in my cabin looking out into the dark and the blackness of the sea. I felt the gloom and foreboding wash over my spirit as I sat there. I couldn’t believe my eyes when in the far distance a very small spot of light appeared, as if by magic. As the minutes slowly went by the light grew larger. As we approached, I realized it was a lighthouse with its light stretching out into the horizon giving comfort and direction. The spring of hope once again lifted my spirit and I knew each step on this unknown journey would have the loving guidance from this tower of strength. Just from my own feelings of exhilaration I can only image the relief this towering beacon gives to ships and weary travelers searching for rest.
How many times do you spend thinking about all your fears or the troubles in your life? You just want someone to give you the guidance to save you from that feeling of ultimate doom. The fear is like looking out into the black night with not even a star in the sky. It reminds you of days when it seems like there is no hope and all you see is doom and gloom. Do you realize the devastation that the negative thinking will do to you spiritually, physically, and emotionally? What is your spirit to do when that happens? I feel sorry for those who have no hope and you despair to the point of possible suicide. How sad it is to get to the point in your life that the only road you see is death. But death can come in many forms. It might be suicide because you just can’t face life anymore or it may be death of the spirit. Either way you are willing to end something precious that God has created. You are sinning against Him when you even have the thought of ending what He created. How dare you even think such a thing! Instead look at the “JOY” in your life. Your first thought may be, “That’s the point! There is no joy in my life. All I know is fear and worry.” Throughout God’s Word you will find scriptures you can meditate on to encourage you even at your darkest moment.
I sit here at night looking out at the blackness of the ocean and not being able to see the waves or anything of God’s glory in the ocean blue. I have a sense of being separated from Him, which means no loving arms to run to or be comforted in—totally alone in this massive world. Me, feeling so small and insignificant, how could I cope with life itself? This terrifies me! What would the world truly be like with no God to come to your rescue, or be there to comfort you?
A parallel story about darkness and the desire for someone to save you is when I was living in Oregon with my husband, Rick and we went out with friends of ours for the day. When we were driving home after having a wonderful day it was pitch dark. We decided to stop at a rest stop off the Interstate 5. While my friend and I were in the restrooms freshening up, our husbands decided to walk down the path to the river. I knew from a previous experience that there were trees running down the path to the river. I did not remember how far it was but we decided to walk that path.
As we were walking down, I became more and more anxious, and the fear of someone jumping out and attacking us overwhelmed me. At that time there had been reports of a violent criminal, called the I-5 Rapist that was travelling up and down the freeway. I have always been afraid of being at the mercy of someone that I could not defend myself against. This was the thought running wild in my mind as we walked that path to the river. I felt like it would never end. I became more and more agitated until I was screaming for Rick. When we finally found each other I was screaming and frantically pounding on his chest about how dare he leave me alone. With his calm demeanor he held me and just let me fall apart. Then, with his reassuring arms and voice questioned me, “Babe, why are you so angry and scared? “Once I told him,” he said, “Don’t you know by now, that I will never leave you?” At that moment, I was reassured of the love and comfort I could always count on. This calmed my heart and I was now at peace in my heart and soul.
This story also reminded me of the times when I was so afraid in my life, but when I looked God was there to hold me and carry me through the danger. This also is a perfect example of the poem “Footprints.” If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do. What a perfect example when you keep God in your life He promises to be there even when you only see one set of footprints in the sand. Do you ever feel like you were alone? Or were you not looking and realizing that God is carrying you through the trials in your life. What a wonderful assurance to know that God will always be there with you no matter what.
Take a moment right now and think about the “fear” that is gripping you and maybe you feel like there is a strangle hold on you. Now you are at the point where you can’t breathe, or any step you try to make is being blocked. Every time you try and move forward you feel like you are being dragged back even further into that fear. What can you do? Do you believe that God is strong enough to pull you out of your desperation? Is He a big enough God for you? He can help you conquer this fear, whether it is spiritual, physical, or even emotional. Your action should be, “I’m running as fast as I can to the only one that is my haven of rest—the arms of God. This is the time that doubt, who is actually satan, will raise his ugly head to tell you that you can’t possibly believe that. God knows everything, so wouldn’t He be your source in times of trouble?
I remember when my husband and I were at the end of our ropes in a legal battle over our first home and it looked like we were going to lose everything. I was so terrified with the fact that everything we had worked for would be gone. I cried and cried, and had the “oh woe is me,” blues until I couldn’t even function. The thoughts that hounded me were, “This is our first home, and they have cheated us out of our dream.” Of course, this made me angrier and the thoughts once again of, “How dare they do this to us!” We were talking with the attorney on what we would be facing, and blackness awaited us at every turn. My once again, calm husband looked at the attorney and said, “I have a job and I can still put a roof over our heads, and food on the table. What more do we need than that.” Rick was right and to God’s glory and grace we actually came out of the real estate fraud better than ever expected. We went from owning a townhouse to our own beautiful home on a quarter acre of land in beautiful Corvallis, Oregon. God supplied more than what we had originally had and it was more of a family home that our future son would share with us a few years later. This was another one of those situations that could have been a disaster but we in the end turned our eyes to God and He was there as promised.
When you think about God’s love and know that He wants the best for you, this is what you need to do. Remember the days when you were small and you could run to the loving arms of your father, or some other strong and loving role model in your life, and know you were safe and secure? That is the vision of God—with arms opened wide waiting for you to run to Him with all speed and FEEL those warm loving arms around you. What a comfort, just knowing that He is too big for any harm to fall upon you, as long as you stay in that warm embrace.
When it is time to venture out go with His assurance that He will give you the strength to face what is in front of you. Face that ordeal with renewed strength and direction. Here is a scripture you can count on, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” What a great assurance, at times of overwhelmed and the feeling of impending disaster. He promises to renew your strength and then you can take the next step, no matter how small.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Remember this when you count on God through any circumstance, it is like taking a check to the bank. Your account will grow. Is God’s “check” good?—you can bank on it!
When you are out in the ocean and there is nothing but blackness then shines that glorious beacon of light from the lighthouse to lead the way home. Be thankful and joyous for that simple act lighting the way. In your life God is that grand lighthouse that will guide you through the turmoil and the troubled waters to a calm and glorious new day where the sun rises once more.
Do you have that life gripping fear that terrifies you to the point of no return? Identify your fear and give it to God to carry that burden for you. He can set you free! Set your mind and heart to say, “NEVER AGAIN will I focus on fear but know that “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind.” Allow God to fill you with His everlasting love. God can take away that fear if you will let Him. Now take your next step and give Him all the glory.
The bottom line is this…to find hope and rest in times of trouble you need to have a relationship with God. He will always be there for you in your deepest despair. Have the assurance that you can count on Him every day. God is your strength and He promises to help you through your circumstances and you can take God’s check to the bank.
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:7 (New Kings James)