by Ruth Hallstead
Letting go of fear is an incredibly hard thing to do. We know that God has our back no matter what, but relinquishing fear forces us to give full control of our lives to God. Even though we never really have control, acknowledging that is overwhelming… Letting go of fear is the hardest thing I face as a Christian. I often feel as if I am standing on the edge of a cliff. Falling off of this cliff means succumbing totally to fear. It means total mental shutdown, full on panic, perpetual falling into oblivion. At times, the edge is miles away. Other times, I have my toes hanging over the edge of the cliff, and it’s all I can do to stay on top. Every time the edge starts to approach, my natural response is to try and run away on my own. I think that I can distract myself, or just grit my teeth and hold on until it passes. This rarely works, and then only for a moment. I cannot do it on my own. The power of that fear is too much for me to handle. I’ve learned (and relearned and continue to learn) that prayer is the only way to back away from the cliff and stand on solid ground once again. Psalm 23, gives us a promise for when we are afraid and struggling hand it all to the Lord. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want… yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” God is with us no matter where we are, but he is especially present in times of trouble. So, when there’s something strange in the neighborhood and you don’t know who to call, call upon the Lord. The Lord knows what we need, and he hears us when we call. Given that, it’s still nice to have a collection of things to say for when your brain is too overloaded to think. Whether your prayer is a tremulous, whispered “Help me”, a piece of scripture, or a thunderous, bold prayer, call upon the Lord. He is our strength and our redeemer, and he will never fail to pull you away from the edge, or to haul you back up the side of the mountain after you’ve fallen.