By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
If God Is for Us
By Lynette Kittle
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”--Psalm 46:1
In a world where looming famines, economic collapse, and ongoing epidemics are dominating daily media reports, fear is being planted and cultivated in record-breaking amounts. The dark scenario is creating a constant panic, distress, and uncertainty among individuals, families, communities, and nations.
Yet as Christians, we’re not to get caught up in the drama but to keep our eyes focused on the One who has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), even in natural disasters, worldwide food crises, wars, and more.
Where Do We Find Safety?
Our family has experienced multiple natural disasters. Not that we look for them, but God has led us to places where they occur. Some might think God wouldn’t do that but going where God leads us is the safest place to be. We’ve been learning through the years that it’s better to have God lead us in where to live than to think we could choose a safer place to reside.
Still, there have been moments of questioning, such as when God relocated us to Hilo, Hawaii, the tsunami capital of the world, near an active volcano. Moving there, I asked Him, “What are you thinking? How could this possibly be a good place to bring our family?” As a mother of four daughters, it seemed risky to take them to an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in the center of the “Ring of Fire.”
Finding Yourselves in a Path of Destruction
Although we did make it safely off the island, we then moved to South Florida, where we experienced multiple hurricanes in a row over a short period. Although I believed God had put us in this location, I once again asked God about the path He had chosen for us. But it wasn’t our first harrowing experience in the Sunshine state. The first occurred years earlier when we lived on the Gulf side of Florida. With literally no warning, an uncharacteristic out-of-season hurricane hit the West Coast of Florida with a vengeance. Taking the weather experts by surprise, it was called The No Name Storm of the Century.
During its fury, our Gulf front home was hit with 14-16 foot waves that tore off our hurricane shutters, blew out and shattered our windows, and washed away some of our prized possessions into the sea. Unable to leave during its onslaught, evacuation arrived 12 hours later. As the forceful waves beat on our house, swaying with each thunderous hit, we wondered if our house would stand. Owned by a friend who built churches for a living, we often kidded of it being designed like an ark with its huge wooden beams. Little did we know it would become one for us. Even though built on sand (Matthew 7:25-27), God was gracious to us, and while other residents were being rescued off their roofs by helicopters, our house stood throughout the storm.
Taking Refuge in God
Returning to Florida seemed to resurge emotions from the earlier devastating storm we had experienced, ones I thought had been settled years earlier. Finding myself feeling anxious over the approaching hurricane, I began to look at the root of my fear. Do I really trust God? Do I really believe God is with me in every situation?
As the first hurricane approached, dreadful thoughts of what could happen and what we might have to go through again began to stir up fear within me. Still, Scripture spoke to my heart, reminding me that Jesus tells us to “fear not” (Isaiah 41:10) and how God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
Likewise, I began recalling all the ways God had been teaching our family over the years, how our safest place is where He has placed us, in His will, sheltered in His perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” Because fear is rooted in a lack of trust in God, every fearful thought is tied to unbelief. The only way to break it is to choose to reject fear and instead focus on the truth of God’s Word.
God Is with Us
Our experiences have taught me that the outcome of a storm doesn’t determine whether God is with us during it because His word says He is present with us in trouble, and He is our refuge through it (Psalm 46:1-3). In every situation, God is our present help. Whether we come through unscathed or experienced loss, He is with us, and because He is, we don’t have to be afraid.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Is there currently a situation that has stirred up fear in your heart? If so, focus on God’s promises to never leave you or forsake you, knowing He is faithful to be present in every situation.
How to Live Fear-Free In A Fearful World
Photo credit: Zac Durant/Unsplash
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.