The weather is changing in Phoenix. This last week I was running (if you can call what I do running) with one of my daughters and my sunglasses began fogging up. After a few minutes I had to take them off and wipe them clean – I was completely blind. It is a sign of the changing seasons, and a reminder of the seasons we go through in our life.
Last year I experienced a season of fear. The fear stemmed from medical problems that started small and then proceeded to snowball out of control.
At first I tried to ignore my fear. I looked away from the problems and ignored the issues. This resulted in a mountain of problems that were even more fearful and overwhelming.
Next, I tried to hide my fear. I tried to silently endure believing that this was better for everyone around me. The result was isolation and depression, which introduced more fear.
Finally, I turned to Jesus; trusting in Him and being honest with others.
Psalm 56:3 reads,
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
My honesty with my fear resulted in many people expressing deep disappointment. In fact, one of the most hurtful criticisms said to me was, “I thought you were a man of God? I expected more from you.”
The individual that made this comment assumed my faith in God’s grace was totally inadequate because I was afraid. They pushed this position on me, and sent me through a period of deep doubt in my faith, wondering if I can have any assurance of being saved.
Then it dawned on me, my faith was not in question, God’s grace was not in short supply – this was just simply a case of the season changing and my glasses digging up. I temporarily lost sight of my goal and purpose, but this didn’t mean that I was going to stop running.
The loss of vision certainly doesn’t mean that you are running the wrong race. If you were running the wrong race there is greater possibility that your glasses wouldn’t fog up at all – the enemy would leave you alone to run a worthless race. What the fogging means is that you need to take a moment to clear your vision – wiping your glasses clean.
I like how John Piper captures this in Future Grace
“When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked.
At first blow, our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether, by grace, we set in motion a process of resistance — whether we fight back against the unbelief of anxiety…”
Psalm 56:3 does not say that we will not fear or struggle with the seasons of life. We all struggle at times.
But the Bible does tell us how to handle these seasons, how to fight the fear: trust in Jesus.