It was in March 2013 that I was diagnosed, treated and miraculously healed from flesh eating bacteria in my left arm, and many of you reading this were a wonderful part of that story through your prayers. That was a very traumatic time in my life and I thought I was going to die. I have often found that times when I experience fear can be related to painful things I have had to endure in the past. Is the same true for you? For instance, when I feel an ‘odd’ pain in my body I often will think, “What’s that pain? Is it ‘flesh eating bacteria again?”
And if I don’t catch my thoughts, then the next thoughts will roll in like a storm cloud of worry, “That would be terrible if I got it again! And what if it was in my chest cavity this time? Doctors said I could get it again, and nobody knows how I got it the first time. How would I know? Doctors said I was in such excruciating pain early on in the infection last time because it was in my arm where there was not a lot of space; imagine if it were in my chest? I’d surely not have the same outcome as last time. What if they wouldn’t catch it this time?”
When I have entertained those thoughts for too long, instead of taking them captive like scripture tells us to do, then I find myself in a gown at the doctor’s office! I can admit to you that I have gone to the doctor’s office twice in the last six years because I wanted them to assure me that I didn’t have ‘flesh eating bacteria’ again. Upon arrival and after I share with the nurse and the doctor why I am there, all I can say is, “It’s a good thing I don’t have much fear about what other people think because they all looked at me like I was a crazy person!”
While in a hospital a couple years ago, I felt myself begin to have terrible anxiety and I began to cry just seeing the equipment and smelling the distinct ‘you’re in a hospital’ smell. The familiar sounds of machines and the carts full of medical supplies triggered something in my mind that caught me off guard. At first it seemed totally out of my control, I was just cyring, but then I practiced CPR and ‘True Viewed’ the situaton (tried to see it from God’s perspective based on His Word) and this is what I realized:
Confessed: I’m scared right now because this place reminds me of the trauma you let me go through God.
In your situation you could say: I’m scared, I don’t understand why you allowed or are allowing _____________ (fill in the blank).
I Professed truth- Your ways are higher than my ways. You are love, God. God, you have an eternal perspective…You alone know what eternal rewards are waiting, and You alone are perfect in all of Your ways.
I had to Reset my thinking- What we focus on does get bigger. I had to set some goals to reset my mind “on things above”, not on earthly things.
I realized in resetting my mind that I was believing a couple of lies:
1) I was believing the lie that God is not trustworthy because I experienced something difficult in the past that I would not have chosen for myself.
2) I also believed the lie that I am more just than God; I would not allow these difficulties into my life or the lives of most others if I were Him. This is making myself the idol or the ‘god of my own life.’ I want to believe for myself along with my awesome family, friends & neighbors that we all do not deserve ‘bad things’ to happen. Only terrorists and ‘bad people’ (which I will define based on my understanding) deserve ‘bad and challenging things’ to happen to them.
I often need the reminder that God’s Word tells us that because of our sin we all deserve death, hell and damnation. Hmmm. I don’t like that truth, skip. No, just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it is not true. I need a reminder sometimes of what is true. What is true is that while we were yet sinners and deserving of death, hell and an eternity separate from God, that He died for us, so that whoever believes in Him would never die but would have eternal life. That He will never leave us or forsake us, that He has taken on human form to be with us, that He is a living God who sees, hears and fights for us. That He sees and knows the end from the beginning, that there is a plan and purpose for our lives, and that He can be trusted. The same God who formed the stars, set them in place and calls them all by name, and holds the world together is the same God that is holding my hand and yours. Trust Him. Faith your Fear!
Written by Jamie Shaver
For more reading on this topic of who God is compared to who we are I encourage you to read below Job 38-40:5 ESV. After an onslaught of horrific loss and devastation to a degree to which I cannot even comprehend in Job’s life (a righteous man) he questions God. God responds by reminding Job of Who He is, that His ways are in fact higher than our ability to comprehend or understand. In the end, which I’ve made bold for you below, Job agrees that he will proceed no further to question God.
The LORD Answers Job
1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3Dress for actiona like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
12“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
16“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
22“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
24What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25“Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
26to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
27to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?
28“Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
30The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.
31“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
or loose the cords of Orion?
32Can you lead forth the Mazzarothb in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
35Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36Who has put wisdom in the inward partsc
or given understanding to the mind?d
37Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?
39“Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?
41Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?
1“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the does?
2Can you number the months that they fulfill,
and do you know the time when they give birth,
3when they crouch, bring forth their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?
4Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open;
they go out and do not return to them.
5“Who has let the wild donkey go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
6to whom I have given the arid plain for his home
and the salt land for his dwelling place?
7He scorns the tumult of the city;
he hears not the shouts of the driver.
8He ranges the mountains as his pasture,
and he searches after every green thing.
9“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will he spend the night at your manger?
10Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
or will he harrow the valleys after you?
11Will you depend on him because his strength is great,
and will you leave to him your labor?
12Do you have faith in him that he will return your grain
and gather it to your threshing floor?
13“The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
but are they the pinions and plumage of love?a
14For she leaves her eggs to the earth
and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15forgetting that a foot may crush them
and that the wild beast may trample them.
16She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
17because God has made her forget wisdom
and given her no share in understanding.
18When she rouses herself to flee,b
she laughs at the horse and his rider.
19“Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrifying.
21He pawsc in the valley and exults in his strength;
he goes out to meet the weapons.
22He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
he does not turn back from the sword.
23Upon him rattle the quiver,
the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars
and spreads his wings toward the south?
27Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
and makes his nest on high?
28On the rock he dwells and makes his home,
on the rocky crag and stronghold.
29From there he spies out the prey;
his eyes behold it from far away.
30His young ones suck up blood,
and where the slain are, there is he.”
1And the LORD said to Job:
2“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
3Then Job answered the LORD and said:
4“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
5I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.”