“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

This is the first Bible verse I remember memorizing as a child. I actually had to look up the reference this morning, Psalm 56:3, because that part I did not memorize.When you are 5 though, the reference doesn’t really matter.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

I learned it well before I really understood much about God other than He had promised to protect me.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

When I would wake up from a bad dream in the middle of the night, sure that something was waiting for me in the dark, I would tuck the sheets around every inch of me, even over my head so I couldn’t see shadows. I’d even make sure I was totally in the center of the bed because, well, if any part of me were hanging off the edge, that thing might get me. …and I’d chant in my head, not out loud, (never out loud!)…

“What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.”

I also used it against scary dogs, the Cheshire Cat in Alice and Wonderland, and when I had to pass the creepy silver faceless mannequins at the Body Shop when we went to the mall.

I know, I was a weird kid.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

Like I was trying to convince myself it was true. It didn’t take the fear away…because I still didn’t realllllllly know Him yet. What can I say, I had trust issues as a child, but then, sometimes I find that to be true now too.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

Then I got a little older, I understood more. I believed in Him. My verse changed.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

I remembered the reference to this one. Isaiah 41:10.

…Even though I believed in Him, I didn’t BELIEVE Him.  Different fears then.

Fears that I would disappoint. Fears of not looking just right. Fears that He didn’t want the same thing for my life that I did, so for a little over a decade I walked away not realizing a few things about why I did it. I fear I missed the point.

You see, most of those “grown up” fears didn’t have anything to do with Him. They had to do with me listening to other voices. Even that last one.  The verse doesn’t say that He was only with me if I didn’t fear. That decade I was “away” He was still with me. Looking back I see that now.  They weren’t “grown up” fears at all. They were proof that I had not matured in Christ. This is not to say that I am a perfect example of what a mature follower should be now. Oh no. That is the thing about fear, just when you think you have it conquered, it sneaks up on you in a different form.

I have a new verse these days. One that I finally understand.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  1 John 4:18

I’ve also known this one my whole life, but didn’t understand it until recent years. See, I had the perception that MY love for Him had to be perfect, and the biggest reason I walked away is because I got frustrated in trying. In the back of my head,  deep down, I knew that wasn’t true, but see what fear can do? If you let it, if you aren’t aware of it, it overshadows everything else.

It’s

F. False

E. Evidence

A. Appearing

R. Real

God is that perfect love. He is the one that casts out fear. Not me on my own. HE is making me perfect in love.

I can honestly say I fear less now. Spending time with Him does that. It just naturally happens. I HAVE thought about so many “bad” things that could happen to me, and I’m in a place right now, where I know He’s got me covered. I do know though, that I have to stay in Him in order to be able see that. That doesn’t mean that He isn’t there when I’m not focused on Him, it’s a statement of where my perception lies. His fearless perception gets in me when I am focused on Him. He doesn’t want me to be tormented.

So now, I really understand it.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in THEE.”

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