hope for dark days
Fear is my natural state, the obvious + easy choice for me. Exactly like an unhealthy relationship I know I shouldn't be in, it somehow worms it's way back into my life and always says precisely the thing it knows will get me. But. Because of our too-long history, I know fear just as well as it knows me and I recognize it's cheap tricks and hollow threats. It doesn't ever truly change: always accusing, always undermining, always lurking.
It is a harder choice, to trust in a rescuer I cannot see while the storm of fear rages on all around me. Despite myself, I cannot help but believe that if I am going to fight, it is a far better fight to align myself with the one who came to give us peace, on whom the spirit and favor of God came to rest. Who did not bully, or fight, or crush the weak. Who faced and defeated fear, who embodied sacrifice to the point of death so that in times like these, we might have oneness with him. Who does for me what I cannot do myself: frees me from fear, frees me to himself.
I know not everyone reading this has an existing relationship with Jesus, and so I know that this could come off as a little aloof, or insensitive, or head-in-the-clouds. I get that. I would say to you, if there is any pull on your heart to know him, to follow it. He is nothing but good, I can promise you that.
I know, too, that some of you reading this do claim Christ, but have still in a moment of weakness chosen to be overtaken by fear. I know that the storm is very loud. I know it's easy to give in to. But remember how able he is to do for you what you cannot do for yourself! Trust in him, and take heart: we are promised trouble in this life. But we are also promised and shown that he has overcome a world of trouble, to know us and walk with us intimately. Do not give in to thinking that he is not able now.
There is an old hymn that a favorite artist of mine, Audrey Assad, has covered on her most recent album. This line especially speaks to me: "No storm can shake my inmost calm / while to that refuge clinging."
It is difficult to believe any of this is possible outside of faith. It is difficult to believe this when our faith seems small, or has been shaken. But as far as I can see -- the worthiest fight is for perspective, and the only perspective that keeps ground beneath my feet is the unshakable refuge of the cross.