There are things in life that reveal the inner depths of who we really are and what we really believe. Usually, it’s the difficult, painful, and scary trials, those things that are out of our control. We may question whether or not we ever really had it together. What do you do when fear and frustration collide with your faith.
Fear barrels over us, frustration fills us to the brim, and try as you may, it just seems impossible to muster up that mustard seed-sized faith.
Fear, Frustration, and Faith
Fear, frustration, and faith. They’re all related. Sometimes our faith brings about fear but most often fear and frustration make us believe we don’t have faith. They’re like the trio of chaos that doesn’t belong together but won’t let each other go either.
We’re living in a time that people want to call unprecedented. They say this is our new normal. Well, I don’t want a new normal! I don’t want to live in unprecedented times. I don’t want to conform to what everyone else is doing when for some reason, I’m seeing things that not everyone else is seeing.
Why are humans so quick to just follow what everyone else is doing? Is it because the “powers-to-be” tell them? Well, what if those “powers” are wrong? What if those powers are actually evil and they don’t have your best interest in mind?
Do you just follow someone just because you think they’re smarter, wiser, more powerful? That didn’t get me very far when I was trying for over two years to figure out why I was sick.
Bravery Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Afraid
In the past those who paved a way for better things like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and just plain freedom – had to follow that deep stirring inside of them that told them, something isn’t right.
They didn’t conform just because everyone else was. It wasn’t that they were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in. I believe they were afraid. It wasn’t that they were being rebellious or defiant against something good. They weren’t. They stood up, in fear, and with bravery against what they believed was evil. They didn’t stand up against evil by being evil. They were not hateful, disrespectful, or destructive.
They saw what no one else saw. They stood against the multitude in order to stand for what was right. They stood even though they knew they could be thrown in jail, persecuted, or even put to death. So many of us are afraid to speak out because someone might argue with us or insult us.
Where would we be without those brave souls who paved the way for our freedoms? Or the brave warriors who insist on better medical treatment? Or those who stand up for religious freedom!
Those brave people are just like you and me but they move in fear. Some of these brave people may have had a direct calling by God to do the work he was calling them to do. Some just knew that if evil men continued, that they and their families would suffer the consequences.
The Times We Live In
We live in a weird time but it’s not unlike many of the times of the past. Men will always try to dominate one another. They will always have evil at the core of their being. That is unless they choose to turn to the Savior of their souls. It is only through transformation by the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus that man can be changed and made new. Made kind, loving, generous, and made to peacemakers.
My Own Fear and Frustration
Right now I’m living in a place of frustration mixed in with a gripping fear that tries to strangle me when I least expect it. This fear grabs a hold of my thoughts every time I crawl in bed at night and it’s the kind of fear that turns on the faucet of tears at the most unexpected time.
My frustrations are deep and stir up this war inside of me. I like to be in control. I need to know what to expect tomorrow. My checklists need to be organized and check-able. And yet I feel as though I can’t do anything about the things that are controlling my thoughts and my heart.
I tend to pick up on the feelings of others. I feel the fear and anxiety of those around me when I go out in public. I feel the anger, the hatred, and the chaos. If I’m not careful it can overwhelm me.
When my fear and frustration takes hold of me or when yours takes hold of you, you may feel like there is nothing you can do. You may feel powerless, hopeless, or lost but you’re not.
We Have Help
If you have been saved by the blood of Jesus, you have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you. He is your helper, your strength, your teacher. The Holy Spirit gives us peace when we ask for it. He directs our way. He brings to memory the holy passages of scripture to ease our souls from striving. He reminds us who God is and that He is faithful.
There is much you can do when you feel like everything is out of control. It doesn’t matter if the entire world is burning or if it’s something only burning within you. You have a strength and help that can put out the raging fear and the destructive frustration that you’re wrestling with.
Comfort From Scripture
Just as the Psalmist, David, the man after God’s own heart cried out, so shall we.
Psalm 142I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him of all my troubles.When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought!No one will help me; no one cares a bit about what happens to me.Then I pray to you, O Lord.I say You are my place of refuge.You are all I really want in life.Hear my cry,for I am very low.Rescue me, my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.Bring me out of prison so I can thank you.The godly will crowd around me.For you are good for me.
David goes on to cry out to the Lord in Psalm 143.
He says, Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning. for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk for I give myself to you.Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, I run to you to hide me.Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
Are You Afraid or Frustrated?
Are you feeling afraid, frustrated, depressed, anxious? Are you looking at the news and wondering how this world got so bad? Are you afraid it won’t get better or that there’s no hope and that there’s nothing you can do?
Go back to King David’s words, his pleas for God to help him. Notice what David does and says. He knows that God is his only hope and truly God is our only hope.
Don’t live in the fear or frustration. Don’t allow it to take up residence inside of you. Give your anxieties to the Lord and trust him. I know that’s easier said than done.
Practical Things I’m Doing
I’m limiting my time watching the news and FB videos. I still watch certain ones but only when I feel like I can handle it.
I’m going outside every day! Fresh air and sunshine is such good medicine. It’s relaxing, enjoyable, and definitely helps to boost my mood. I have a garden and a lot of flowers to take care of this year. While I’m out in the garden I listen to the birds and notice the clouds, the flowers, and I try to ignore the weeds.
I’m eating well and drinking plenty of water. We all know that what we feed ourselves makes a huge difference in how we feel. I’m not going to lie, I’ve gained the COVID-15. I realized that I was stress eating, gravitating towards comfort foods. It has cost me my well-being. Once I recognized what was going on, I made the decision to get control of what I was putting in my mouth.
I’m exercising. Every day my husband, son, and I go for a long walk with our dog. It feels good to be outside, to be together, and to get exercise. I also work in the yard for a few hours every day and I stretch or do Yoga with Adriene in order to keep myself flexible.
I’m spending time with God every day. This is a non-negotiable for me. I know that God is my life-line and so whether I’m doing a deep bible study or only reading a few passages, I’m in God’s word every day. I’m praying for myself, my family, friends, the world. I’ve committed to praying for anything and everything that tries to steal my joy or that causes me anxiety or distress. Prayer is physiologically beneficial too. Read More
I’m writing down what I’m grateful for. I have never succeeded at keeping a gratitude journal and so I decided that every evening when I go over my calendar for the next day, I will write down at least three things I’m grateful for.
I’m maintaining a schedule and setting goals. This is so important. Keep your mind focused on what you can do right now. Take care of the things that you can control right now.
This last thing is something that I realized that I need to do and haven’t done very well with and that is to keep in touch with my friends. I’ve been more connected to my sisters during this time and less connected to my friends. I was honestly struggling so much with my feelings of fear that I didn’t want to tell anyone. I would rather be the one who helps others. I want to be the strong one but that is actually not always possible and comes from a place of pride. As I recognized this I’ve made a commitment to begin reaching out to my friends again. If at all possible, reach out to your friends and stay connected with them during these trying times. We need each other!