I chased the freedom from fear phantom recently, as I made a summary of my 2010 finances for my accountant. I hate tax time. It scares me to death. I don’t like being scared over a silly thing like taxes!
Why Doesn’t God Take It Away?
I used to think that if God loved me He’d just miraculously take my fears away when I prayed about them. Now I know more about how He changes people than I did back then. Because He loves me, He’s not going to just take my fears away.
Think about it. When you were a baby, did you just get up one day and start walking? Of course not. You learned to walk one or two faltering steps at a time. You tried hard to stay upright, but you kept falling on your cute little padded bottom until you’d learned how to balance yourself in all circumstances.
You probably don’t remember it, but you hated the feeling of falling when you were little. It’s an inborn response, common to all infants. In fact, doctors test every newborn’s reflexes soon after birth, by making them feel as though they’re falling, to be sure that their responses are normal. It makes every baby startle and cry in terror. This fear of falling remains throughout childhood, although it does diminish over time.
Because you hated falling, you probably liked to have your father hold your hand when you were learning to walk. But if Dad had always been there to keep you from having that falling feeling, you never would have gained the experience you needed to walk upright by yourself. That unpleasant feeling was, in fact, essential to the process of learning to walk. It really wouldn’t have been a loving choice to keep you so safe that you never suffered the stress of falling.
God Lets Me Struggle Because He Loves Me
God has designed us to learn from experience under the stresses of life. Naturally, this is true not only for physical learning, but for the spiritual as well. Struggling is as essential to the process of becoming strong in faith as falling is to the process of learning to walk.
My loving heavenly Father knows my frame. He knows how painful experiences from my past have shaped my responses. Because He loves me, He’s teaching me to grow beyond this fear, and He’s doing it through struggles, and even falls. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but because I know God loves me, I can be sure that this is the very best way possible to make me become all He designed me to be.
If He just took the fear away, I’d also miss out on the blessing of being able to celebrate His faithfulness through seeing how I’ve grown over the years. I looked back this morning, and sure enough, I have grown since my tax time blog last year. Isn’t that exciting?
Join the Conversation
How about you? Does realizing that God is teaching you through your struggles help you to face them with more confidence?