My whole life, I have been gripped by fear and anxiety. And with that fear and anxiety came control. I felt better when I was in control of the situations around me. It always seemed the safest option because it was up to me and not anyone else.
I was invited to start a Bible reading plan at the beginning of 2022. I was super excited to learn more about God's word and happily accepted the challenge of finishing the Bible in one year. I enjoyed reading daily and looked forward to it most days. I craved to know more about God. It wasn't until July (7 months in) that God completely wrecked me.
A little over a year and a half ago, I had just found God. I grew up knowing about Jesus, but I didn't know Him. And that's a big difference. Then, in a season of desperation, He met me where I was and gave me a whole new meaning in life. I was all in. I wanted to know Jesus and learn more about Him. Until that moment, a relationship with Jesus seemed to take away some of my control, so I kept Him at a small distance. Close enough for when I needed him, but far enough to still do things my way.
As I started reading the Bible, I felt God slowly peeling those layers back and removing the scales from my eyes. He began revealing His power and showing me that I could trust Him. But I still wasn't entirely convinced and continued to hang on to control!
I made it to the book of Isaiah when God finally got me.
Around Isaiah 37, I looked over and told my husband: "It seems like the whole point of the Bible so far is God proving to the people that He is God."
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not considered the foundations of the earth?" Isaiah 40:21.
"'To whom will you compare to me, or who is my equal?' Asks the Holy One. Look up and see! Who created these? He brings out the stars by number; he calls all of them by name. Because of his great power and strength, not one of them is missing." Isaiah 40:25-26.
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. On the contrary, he gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; the will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31.
Isaiah 41:20, "so that all may see and know, consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it." I wrote off to the side: the whole point again. Right after I wrote it, I got smacked in the face, thanks to the Holy Spirit, with the realization: God wants ME to know HIM.
I finally opened my eyes to see it. I've known God is God, but this fear was always buried underneath, saying, "what if He isn't?!" This whole time. During this Bible study, God proved to ME that He is God. The ONLY God. The everlasting God. The Creator of the entire earth. He has wanted me to see and know, consider, and understand that He is the Creator and my God.
The root of my fear and anxiety was a deep doubt that God wouldn't be there for me in the way I expected him to be or that he wouldn't protect me or help me in the ways I thought I needed. That's why I held on so tight to control that I could fix it myself in case something did go wrong. It was all because I couldn't fully trust and commit to knowing he was with me and wanted what was best for me.
By learning about God and learning to fear him instead of everything else, I now understand His power, His strength, and His deep love for me.
God is so powerful, but he is also gracious and gentle. He didn't have to prove himself to me through the scriptures. He is still God, whether I believe it or not! But he loves his children so deeply that he patiently waits for the perfect time to reveal even the slightest, tiniest glimpse of himself to us, for us to know him and have a relationship with him.
I have learned that fearing God doesn't mean being scared of him. It's the fact of knowing that God is God. He is all-powerful, mighty & just. But he also cares about us & has an overwhelming love for us. To fear God is to know that & choosing to trust his ways instead of your own.