Maybe it’s the seasons changing. Maybe it’s the fact that it has now been a year since this mysterious and still unknown illness started. Maybe it’s just current circumstances.
But something has been resting heavily on my heart that has caused me to think back on the last several months and identify all the ways my heart has changed.
The first few verses of Habakkuk 2 have been my phone’s lock screen since January. “It is on its way” has been my theme for the year. I entered with anticipation of all the ways God would work in the unresolved areas of my life. I can think of quite a few. Most of them are still unsettled. Last week, though, I switched to a different verse.
He has given me a new song.
When I think about the new song in my own heart, the only way to describe it is a radical transformation from being plagued by fear, only hoping for things to finally change, to an understanding that fear says so much more about the state of my heart. Sometimes we’re pushed into situations so we can finally confront the fears that have been unknowingly growing for years. I can’t say I’ve achieved not being afraid, but instead, a state of awareness of what that fear means and how I can work towards letting it go.
I finally saw there were so many things I was afraid of in a lot of different areas of my life.
I’m afraid healing won’t come like I believe He said it would. I’m afraid of making all the wrong choices despite my intentions and desire to go where He wants me. I’m afraid of getting hurt as I continually open my heart to forgiveness. I’m afraid of holding onto hope if there’s a possibility the plans could change. I’m afraid this whisper in my heart is not His and I can’t hear His voice above the unwanted noise.
That list barely scratches the surface. And while most of these things are still lingering, Truth has been breaking through to show me how everything has been okay so far and there’s no reason to believe it will not be today. It doesn’t mean everything will go the way I want it to, but it does mean He will be gentle with my heart as we walk through the brokenness of uncertainty and unfulfilled hopes.
I’ve said it before – sometimes, when all hope seems lost, Christ shows us how He is reshaping and resurrecting hope to remake it into something far more precious: faith that He is who He says He is and He will do what He has said He will.
Today I came across a passage in Hebrews I had written down for myself this past winter, in the darkest point of my fears. It talks about the Lord removing everything in our lives that is not of Him. Shaking our world so only what is unshakable, Christ Himself, is what remains.
I don’t want to spend even a moment with a heart fixed on things of this world. But in order to get there, we have to set fire to our lives and let it burn away everything that is not Christ. Our God is a devouring fire – He is literally obliterating all the excess and everything that is not good so we can receive the blessing of being rid of the distractions and lies that weigh us down. Sometimes scars are left behind. But true hope is being reborn.
Fear is unnecessary. There is no place for it in our lives. It does not come from Christ. Instead, His perfect love casts out all fear.
Perfect love breathes fire into the deepest part of our souls as fear burns down and crumbles into ashes.
At moments all I can see is the fire blazing around me. So He turns my attention to Eternity – the very end of longing and the beginning of freedom that is not hindered by this sin-filled world. Nothing else matters. Nothing but Christ Himself. When fear threatens, it attempts to put our focus on our circumstances and worldly standards of happiness. Only when we speak Truth back to ourselves does it all become clear.
If healing never comes, it will be okay. Perfect healing is a promise of Eternity.
If I make a mistake, it will be okay. Grace will set all things right in the end.
If my heart is broken, it will be okay. One day I will know what it means to be perfectly satisfied in Christ and all past hurts will be made whole.
If goals and dreams are shattered, it will be okay. The only work that matters is what we do for God’s Kingdom and it can be done anywhere, anytime, in any circumstance.
If I am deceived and stray from the path, it will be okay. He will always be faithful to bring us back to Himself.
I may still be waiting to fully break free from fear. But each morning I remind myself I am okay. And He echoes back, you will be better than okay when I am finished.
We will be made new.
Because our God is a devouring fire and He will not rest until fear cannot stand and only He remains.