When I Am Afraid …

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You”

Psalm 56:3

We have taught this simple verse to our boys to help them when they are afraid. Many times when they wake up with a nightmare or are afraid to go to bed I remind them that they can trust in God when they are afraid. Then we think about why they can trust in Him.

1. He is the Creator of this universe, there is nothing more powerful than Him. He is Almighty

2. He is everywhere, He promises to be with us always.

3. He knows our hearts and knows what scares us, He will hear our cry for help.

4. He promises to uphold us with his righteous right hand.

As we talk about these things the boys usually are calmed and are able to go to sleep. Often I forget that these Bible verses I am teaching my boys were written for me also.

Well God has given me two experiences this week that have reminded me that not only my boys, but I too need to trust in Him when I am afraid.

First Experience: As you might have read earlier, we had a grass fire that threatened to get out of control last Sunday. When I first started to fight that fire with a wet sheet and bucket of water, I was afraid that it was going to get past me. The dry grass, accumulated from years of growth, was close to knee high in areas and it was growing right up to our barn. The blaze was moving fast and getting big quick. The dry grass also stretched way off to the North where it could have burned a significant amount of acreage. This scenario had happened on our farm when I was very young and it ended up requiring a bombardier, helicopter, and all the DNR personnel in the area to help put it out. As these things were running through my head I was making slow progress in getting the fire put out. It was a two-steps-forward-one-step-back battle. Then a big problem arose. My bucket of water was almost empty. If I ran to get more water the fire would certainly get away from me. I had come to the last of my resources. I became afraid. Just as I was teetering on the edge of panic, as my sheet started to get too dry to put out the flames the Holy Spirit brought to mind, “When I am afraid I will trust in You.” With a sigh I simply said, “God, I can’t do this without your help.” God gave me a peace and a solution to keep on top of the fire. I hollered for Peter hoping he didn’t stay inside after bringing Silas in out of harm’s way. In a few seconds he appeared and I told him to get a small bucket, fill it and bring out to dump into my bucket. With the renewed supply of water Peter and I spent the next hour and a half putting out the fire. Not only did God calm my fears, he turned a seemingly bad situation into one that grew my faith in Him and allowed Peter to learn that he is an integral part of this family farm.

Second Experience: Today Dad and I drove to Hackensack to pick up our two packages of bees (sorry no pictures, it was very windy and snowing). To settle each of these packages of 10,000 bees into their hives I needed to dump them out of the packages into the hives. This seems quite straight forward and probably not too big of a deal for some of you. But for me I have a slightly rational but mostly irrational fear of stinging insects. (My mom is still in unbelief that I would start beekeeping :-)). As I began the work of introducing these little guys to their new home things were going well. I was dumping them in and they were piling up in the bottom of the hive, but 5 minutes in I realized my body was very tense and I was barely breathing. I was coming to the point of getting dizzy, so I walked away for a little bit. While I was away from the hive I said to God, “I need your help.” After calming down I went back to it. Once I had all the bees shook out of the package I needed to remove the queen from her special cage which was inside the package. One problem, while shaking the bees I accidentally dislodged the queen cage and it fell into the three inch deep pile of bees at the bottom of the hive. I had to stick my hand (it was gloved) into the pile :-0 The first attempt didn’t go so well. As I put my hand into the hive the roughly 9,000 bees surrounding it set off an angry buzz. I came out with a racing heart and an empty hand. With very little breathing and a very tense body attempt number two was a success. As soon as I recovered the queen cage I carefully set it down and walked away again to calm down, catch my breath, and avert cardiac arrest. God was good to me and helped me finish up hiving the first package without any more problems. The second hive went much smoother without any hitches or breaks to unwind. When I had them all unloaded into their new hives I felt like God had carried me through a very difficult task. Here’s the humbling part: Many beekeepers will do ten times the work I did without batting an eye. Furthermore, many use little or no protective gear, whereas I had on elbow length gloves, hat and veil, long pants, and two layers of shirts. As I finished putting my gear away I thanked God for His help in a small task that seemed big, thanked Him for the bees, thanked Him for not letting me get stung, and asked Him to keep them alive (an average of 35% of hives are failing, even for the pros).

So yes, When I am afraid I will trust in God. And He is faithful to deliver me (and you) from my littlest problems (irrational fears) and greatest problem (sin).

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