A shadow and a clunk—is that a man climbing up the bars on my bedroom window?! My baby is asleep in the next room! Is she all right?! What do I do? We call for help, guards and neighbors come, and everything is all right. Even the bicycle which was being stolen is found in the abandoned house behind ours.
I am at peace. I know God protected us, and I feel no fear.
It was different last time.
We were driving home from the airport with my parents and ten-year-old brother, talking and laughing as we enjoyed the beginning of their visit. Suddenly a car veered in front of us, forcing us to stop, and armed men emerged from the vehicle. My husband bluntly told us, “It’s a hold up. Stay calm and do what they say.” Two of the men got into our car, taking my husband in theirs, and they then drove us to a more secluded spot where they took everything they could.
Despite our fear and shock, we recognized evidence of God’s presence with us. The airline had misplaced most of my parents’ luggage, so those bags arrived the following day. Our car was not taken, and none of us was harmed. My dad asked the thieves to return their passports, and they actually complied!
Even though I knew God had protected us, I still felt unsafe for months afterward. I would jump every time a car swerved too close to us. I would worry every time my husband went to pick someone up at the airport at night. For the first time ever, I wished I did not live in this country. I wanted to live in the rural United States somewhere and not have to lock up my house with five keys like I do here!
As we processed through everything that happened, God took me back to Isaiah 26:3, a verse that had always spoken to me: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”
I came to a conclusion about myself that I had not expected. I always thought I had a pretty solid faith because I never doubted God’s existence or His personal reality in my life. I realized that, although my fear may have been a natural human emotion, it was also evidence of my lack of trust in God. I had no problem believing in Him intellectually, but in the daily reality of my life, I did not trust Him to truly do what was best for me. I doubted that He was good.
My worry was evidence that I was trying to take control and avoid the trials God might want me to go through. In the midst of this, God spoke to me through simple principles of His Word. 1 John 4:18 says that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear….” I am perfectly loved by Him! God showed me that I did not need to worry about having my needs met, because He will never leave me nor forsake me. Hebrews 13:5 promises, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
I learned to take hold of my fear and instead to repeat in my mind—and sometimes out loud—“I trust You.” Since then I have found plenty of other reasons to worry…and God continues to prove Himself faithful! His answers are not always what I would like them to be. I would have preferred to never have experienced the robbery and the fear and loss that came with it. Yet I would not have had this opportunity to deepen my trust in my God without that experience. He reminds me in this way that He is in control and that He knows and wants what is best for me.
“Lord, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” Isaiah 26:12