Isaiah 41: 9 - 10
9 I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
"Into every life, a little rain must fall” the saying goes, and often that rain arrives in the form of unexpected changes. Sometimes you lose a parent or friend to death or distance; sometimes you lose your job (and along with it, health and retirement benefits); sometimes your marriage comes to an end, your spouse gets the house, and your children may even want nothing to do with you. You find yourself in a stress nightmare. How will I get along without my friend? Where will I go to live? Will I be able to find another good job at my age? You wonder why God did this to you. I know what it feels like.
Over the last 15 months, I have lost a job, gotten a divorce, and had two very dear friends pass away unexpectedly. I would awake in the middle of the night, tossing and turning, terrified of what was to come, fearful that what I needed might never arrive. I, too, wondered why God had put me in such a mess. But over time I realized that painful as they were, these were changes that had to happen to me. My life had been in such a deep rut that I couldn’t even see it was a rut. I had been very unhappy in both my job and my marriage, and my response to both was to hunker down, like a rat in a bombed-out basement. I was bare of any use to myself, and of no use to anyone else.
In stressful situations, fear and anxiety are natural responses. They may be painful, but they motivate you. Instead of hunkering down, you begin to act. In my case, I reconnected with friends, reestablishing contacts that I had let lapse. I made new friends, moved to another city, even began writing again. But the most important thing I did while festering in fear was to return to God, to call out to Him daily, to put my faith in Him. And the Lord my God heard my prayers. My life goes on again with purpose and resolve, and sleepless nights are becoming rare. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
Author: Jeffery D. Kooistra.