Six attempted or successful break-ins in our immediate neighborhood over the past two months. It’s almost to the point of hilarity. I mean, what is it about our tiny street that somehow made it land on someone’s radar of ‘good places to burgle’? Gah.
After another restless night’s sleep, I woke up with anxiety tiptoeing on the edges of my emotions. It is so easy to convince myself that if something external changes, then something internal will, too. If only we had a louder alarm system, a security gate, a 24-hour guard, a safe room, then I would feel safe. I would be safe.
But I know the truth.
Fear can find me. Anywhere.
Fear is not stopped by iron bars or security locks. Fear is a relentless pursuer of fragile hearts. Especially when those hearts are rattled by the unknown.
Fear is the fault line that runs through the landscape of peace. When will the big one hit? Will I be ready? Will we all be okay? I can end up in a paralyzed, terrified reality where I defensively cower at the slightest tremor or shiver.
Turning to scripture, I landed on Psalm 62. David’s words rang through me, high and clear. Cutting through the fog of worry, I realized that he too struggled with fear. His enemies saw him as “a broken down wall or a tottering fence,” the picture of insecurity and vulnerability if there ever was one. I could imagine the thieves roaming our neighborhood, taking stock of broken gates and sagging hinges. The easiest of easy targets.
Then I read verse five. “Let all that I am wait quietly before God.”
You mean, I can’t have a tiny corner of my heart where I tuck away those anxious, worried, fearful thoughts? Don’t I need those? Aren’t they what help me stay vigilant and alert?
If I don’t know what fear is, then how will I know how to be safe?
As if my ritual of unpacking those emotions, stroking them one by one, letting scenarios bloom into feature length films in my mind…as if I could control what might happen. As if my mental loops of possible outcomes somehow makes me more prepared.
Why should all of me wait quietly before Him? Because He is my fortress where I will not be shaken.
If I really want to be safe. If I really want confidence in the future. If I really want freedom from anxiety and fear.
Then run to Him. With all of me.
Whatever part of me that I withhold can still be shaken.
How much do I value control (or the appearance of control)? Do I need those hidden pockets of fear in order to convince myself I have a grip on what’s going on?
Or can I release? Can I truly, all of me, wait quietly before Him?
He is my fortress. I will not be shaken.