The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
She doubles over, slaps her knee and laughs “How’s that BOLD coming?” Her eyes twinkle as she chides me about the need to make my one word for the year, bold. Not having a hesitant bone in her body, my friend shakes her head back and forth as I describe how hard it was for me to venture outside my comfort zone in order to take on a new bold adventure. “That’s it? That’s what you were so scared to do?” Her head shakes in disbelief. “That was easy.”
I love having a big, bold, bossy friend. She forces me to do things I wouldn’t normally considering doing. For example, she makes me ride roller coasters. She even tries to coax me into the front row. “It’s a smoother ride.” She purrs hoping to con me into it (It doesn’t work), but at least I get on the ride.
Regardless of whether or not I ride in the front row of a coaster, her sense of adventure and ability to laugh at life emboldens me. She makes me more daring. Her brave makes me braver. Her confidence strengthens my confidence.
Psalms 118:6 is a challenge for me. It is hard for me to state, “I will not fear.” I think I was born afraid. In fact, I have spent most of my life living under the shadow of fear. Fear of failing. Fear of disappointing someone. Fear of being rejected. Fear of looking stupid in front of others. My fears have kept me tethered to things I felt were safe and that I could control. Bold was not a word in my vocabulary; timid was.
But, timid is not the truth that God has for my life. God doesn’t want me to be afraid. God’s truth tells me to be brave. To be bold. To not be afraid. God’s truth tells me to not fear. God’s truth tells me that He is at my side. And, in truth, with God at my side, what do I have to fear? Because honestly, with God at my side, what can man do to me?
Just as my bold friend empowers me to be brave, the presence of God at my side, allows me to not be afraid. He enables me to step out and take risks for Him. He makes me brave enough to be bold in-spite of my fear.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. I Peter 2:24
Just listen in on any conversation for a few minutes, or scroll through your social media feed, and it won’t take long before you hear about someone who is struggling with a health issue. It can be a personal struggle or it can be a loved one’s struggle. But, no matter what, the struggle is real. All around us people are battling illnesses: mental, physical, emotional, temporary, chronic, or even terminal.
When sin entered this world through the disobedient choices of Adam and Eve, the world became broken. Man’s infection of sin spread to all aspects of our environment making it ill. Tainted. Damaged. Diseased. Sick.
Struggling to stay healthy is a byproduct of living in a sin infected world. Getting sick should not surprise us. Staying well should motivate us. Healing should humble us.
I don’t know what health issue you may be struggling with today, but I do know there is healing in our Savior. It may not be the kind of healing we are begging God for, but it is the kind of healing we need.
My mom is currently dying from Alzheimer’s. It is so difficult to watch her slowly fade away, to become less and less of the person she used to be. To see the light of awareness dim in her eyes. I wish my mom could be healed from this terrible disease. I wish she could live her remaining years actively and vibrantly. But, she won’t. I have prayed that God would wrap His arms around her and take her home to be with Him where she will be whole once again. But, He hasn’t.
Does that mean he can’t? No.
Does that mean he won’t? Not yet.
So where is the healing then?
The healing is occurring in me. Each day as I die a little more to sin and live a little more to righteousness, I am healed. Each day as I surrender my selfish desires and lean into His ways, I am healed. Each day as I seek God’s face and pray for those around me, I am healed. Each day as I entrust my life to God to take care of me and to provide for me, I am healed.
You see, it is because of the struggle disease brings into my life that I am forced to go to my Savior. The struggle makes me return to the overseer of my soul. The struggle keeps me yielded and reliant on my Shepherd. It is in that total dependence that my healing begins. The healing that truly matters. The healing of my heart and soul.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.