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A Friend and Fear

364. A Friend and Fear

I had lunch with a friend this week and we talked about one of my fears. And then there was a moment of silence and he asked, “How does your faith in God fit with your fear?” I think I brushed the question off, but it stayed with me anyway. I wasn’t looking for a trite answer. Instead, my self seemed to turn the question over and over, having it pop up as I drove somewhere, finding it among the pages of a book I was reading, and seeing it emerge from the soapy dish water as I washed the cups and bowls from the day. “How does your faith in God fit with your fear?”

It’s interesting to me that on that lunch day, with that friend, talking about my fear affected my fear. It made it less. Even the question of faith and God made it less. My faith has been an often-changing thing but also an absolutely-constant reality. When I was two I stood in front of the church and sang, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, Little ones to him belong, They are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.” And that recitation—typing those words—reading them aloud as I type—that makes the fear less too.

There’s a song in the Faith We Sing hymnal titled “Grace Alone.” It’s one of my favorites because it reminds me each time I sing it or read it through what the truth is. You see when I have a powerful day and I get a lot done; or when I have a day when I create a song or a poem and it is so exciting; or when I have a day when my relationships with daughters and my son, or with grandchildren are all crackling with closeness and wonder; most of the time I take credit for that. And the song reminds me that it is grace—it is God working in me—that helps those times to happen.

And I’m thinking right now that God and grace are with me all the time and when the fear takes over, part of the answer for me is to take a deep yoga breath and feel the God, feel the grace, and know that never am I alone. The chorus of the song says, “Grace alone which God supplies, strength unknown God will provide. Christ in us, our cornerstone; we will go forth in grace alone.”

So—how does your faith in God fit with your fear? I’ve got a good start now on answering that question.

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