There's a scene from the movie The Patriot* that has been coming to my mind repeatedly. It's the scene right after his eldest son has been taken prisoner, his house burnt and one of his other sons is killed. I don't recommend watching the whole scene if you don't like violence, but the part that has been on my mind is his interaction with his two younger sons before the ambush.
Here is the link, and you can stop after he talks to his sons to avoid any violence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYl58yK4znE
There is one word at the end of this scene that keeps coming to mind. At the end of his instructions, the dad says one word in a stern, confident voice:
It's very clear in the scene that the boys are processing what their dad is asking them to do: to fight and to risk their lives in something very dangerous. It's hard to imagine what must have been going through their minds as their dad was coaching them on how to carry out an ambush against soldiers. They had to have been scared out their minds as he talked. "Is dad really expecting us to do this?!" But, they do it. For them to be able to do something like this as young boys, they had to trust their father, but they also had to have an obedient and loving fear of their father to do it.
There are moments as I think of the days ahead, I'm scared out of my mind. A quick search of how a person dies of liver dysfunction or tumors in the liver can create fear. (I know I need to stop reading such things.) With that kind of probable future, God still commands me to worship Him and to be a faithful witness.
It's not easy, but it's at the scary times, I can be thankful that He initiates, sustains, trains, rebukes and disciplines us into a position where the life He gives can overpower our fears. Therefore, while this task is beyond me (it truly is), it is His life in Christ that has the power to overcome. The end result is trust, obedience and a loving fear initiated by Him and sustained by Him. When I'm tempted to say "Is God really expecting me to do this?!" I need to say: "Yes, Father" and turn to Him constantly for the strength.
That's an aspect of my story. You have yours. Many of you have things you've faced that are greater fears and difficulties than mine. For you, all I can say for encouragement is God finds ways to show His strength in trials. It's when you're weak that you're set up in the greatest position for Him to work through you. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10 "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Psalm 46:10 is a good verse for times like these:
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
We can be still because He is God. The same One Who has poured out blessings in the past is truly good and worthy of our trust. He is also the One in charge and has the right to command our trust. It's in yielding to Him we can participate in His exaltation.
In The Patriot movie, the sons watch in wonder how their dad finishes off an entire army unit and secures victory over the danger.
We, too, have an even greater opportunity to watch in wonder as God secures victory over our dangers. Until His work is done, He reminds us:
Psalm 46:10 is powerful, and I love Kari Jobe's song with God's promise in her lyrics. Here is the link:
When it gets tough, I also encourage you to join me in steadying yourself with His Word in song.
*The Patriot is a fictional movie about the American Revolution with Mel Gibson.