I awoke in the middle of the night – or is it really the beginning of the morning. And I couldn’t get back to sleep. I listened to the calming sound of waves on my iPhone in an effort to be lulled back to slumber. But for some reason, sleep wouldn’t come.
So, I began reading, and a single theme crept into the dark, quiet room. Fear.
The Wall Street Journal offered little comfort as story after story shared disheartening news about the current economic conditions of our country and the world.
…the fear is that the economy is deteriorating much more rapidly than the government thought possible.
…it’s scary to think how much more can go wrong before Inauguration Day.
A US government report featured on foxnews.com painted an even darker picture.
The next two decades will see a world living with the daily threat of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe and the decline of America as the dominant global power, according to a frighteningly bleak assessment by the U.S. intelligence community.
That darkness, that fear, moved from the pages – into the room, into my heart. The weight of it pressed heavily, and I found myself caught – struggling to pray, struggling to find meaning in it all. I thought about my family, my friends.
Then I remembered.
There is only One I should fear.
And I read some more. But this time, I focused on more eternal things.
Psalm 42: 5 Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and 6 my God!
Psalm 128: 1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! 2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4 That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.
And slowly, the dark fear was replaced by awe.
Psalm 2: 10 Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! 11 Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
And with the awe came thankfulness.
Psalm 25:12 Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose. 13 They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land. 14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
18 But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.
And with the thankfulness came courage.
Psalm 27: 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Psalm 46: 1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
And with the courage came sleep.