When I am afraid, I will trust in You. —Psalm 56:3
Nine words and ten syllables. About the same length as your phone number. But what a life-changing sentence to learn and live! Notice the opening word—not if but when. Fear—in its various forms—besets us every day. And notice what Psalm 56:3 doesn’t say:
It says: “When I am afraid, I will trust in You”—in Your providence, in Your promises, in Your protection, in Your power, in Your peace. Faith is being confident that God’s positives are greater than our negatives, and that His providence is overshadowing our lives. Faith in a faithful God is the only lasting antidote for debilitating fear.
In 1996 my friend Dana Thompson had trouble walking; and, following a trip to the emergency room, she was scheduled for a cardiac cauterization. But something went wrong during the procedure, and Dana woke up surrounded by frenetic activity and by the loud, windy chopping of helicopter wings. She was being airlifted to a medical center in Birmingham.
She was scared not only because she realized something was obviously wrong with her but also because she’d never been on a helicopter before and the weather was bad. “I was just shaking with fear,” she said, “but I realized my fearful state wasn’t honoring God or serving as a good testimony to the medical workers. I wracked my brain for a Bible verse to calm me down, but I could only think of one—When I am afraid, I will trust in You.
“I quoted that verse over and over in my mind as I looked down through the window and saw the houses and streets below. The ride was bumpy, but I started praying Psalm 56:3 to Him. My shaking and fretful trembling ceased and was replaced by a warmth and peace. I reassured the workers on the chopper that it was going to be all right, and I settled down to enjoy a God’s-eye view of the countryside despite the conditions. Whatever happened, I knew, God had it covered.”
When the chopper arrived at the medical center in Birmingham, a renowned cardiologist performed open-heart surgery. Dana wasn’t able to thank the doctor at the time because he left immediately on a trip. But later she sent him a thank-you note thanking him and quoting Psalm 56:3.
There is nothing like faith to help at a pinch; faith dissolves doubts as the sun drives away the mists…. At what time, said the good man, I am afraid, I will trust in thee. —John Bunyan
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