Hope versus Fear

Hope calls fears bluff every time” – Bob Goff.

I like Bob Goff’s  quotes so much, I often re-post or share them.  Today it got me thinking.  Have you every been afraid?  Probably a silly question, right?

When we’re children we look to our parents for comfort.   When I was little I was afraid of thunderstorms.  I mean – I was seriously afraid.   I can’t remember if I cried – but I do remember climbing into the lap of the nearest parent during every thunderstorm.   My dad would comfort me, and tell me that thunder was just God talking to us.  He’d let me sit in his lap until the thunder stopped.  My father never asked me to handle it on my own.

As I grew older I still had fears, but they weren’t so obvious.  Fear of failure, fear of embarrassment  fear of….  well you name it.  We all have them.

As I launched into my high-intensity career in my 20’s, I was timid and worried.  Worry, it’s that thing you do when you think you have to handle everything on your own.  It’s when you have to prove  yourself, and you’re fearful you’re not good enough.

So what helps? How do I get over it?

First, I pray.    By that I mean, I don’t handle it by myself.  I walk into work knowing that I can pray all day, and I do.

Every day, I need to be proficient, smart, organized, careful, thoughtful.  

Early on, I realized that critics surrounded me.  Colleagues wanted to protect their clients and their careers, and rightfully so.  Some, however, were beyond reasonable.  It seemed like their only job was to remind me of what they thought,  and what they thought was that no one could do the job “right” except them.

I knew that in my own strength – I won’t prove to any of these people, that I was strong enough, or good enough, or smart enough.   God how do you handle people like that?  I would pray.  I would trust in the loving-kindness of my heavenly father.  I would ask for help.  Sometimes, I would simply say – Help me God.

As days turned into years, I was not only given strength to do my job well, but also to eventually see that some of the attacks and insults had a lot more to do with the pain and fear of others, and that they really had nothing to do with me.   When I began to see the struggles of others, I became more compassionate and patient.

Today, I am a little stronger, and worry a little less.  At the end of the day, no matter what the day, I know I’ve done my best, and I’ve given my all.  I know my hope, and my  only salvation, is God.  I take my weariness and worries and lay them at the  feet of my heavenly father, and I trust his word.  He promised us that HE is faithful – Ps. 98:3.  HE promised he wouldn’t leave us – Matt. 28:20. He promised he loved me – John 3:16. He promised HE would give me strength for the work he has before me – Phil. 1:6.

Like David, I hope in the Lord, he’s my strength and shield, and though him I conquer every fear.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His loving-kindness,

Psalm 33:17-19

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