Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrows: it only saps today of its strength

We spend so much time worrying about tomorrow instead of living and enjoying today. Worry never changes our situation. Instead it saps us of the energy to live fully charged. We live like a drained Duracell, with barely enough energy to power the work around us.

Worry produces anxiety, leading to both physical and emotional symptoms. And all of this brings about apathy for the things we used to enjoy because our focus is on those we have no control over. We walk through life with leaden feet and a constricted heart because we can’t experience the freeing effects of faith and hope.

If we can truly grasp that God has tomorrow in the palm of His hand and the scope of His eye, we can begin to trust for today.

He gives us this day our daily bread—peace, strength, provisions and all the things we need to live in the present with Him. Today is filled with opportunities to love, live and receive His blessings. But, we cannot receive them if our hands are filled with tomorrow’s worries.

Shadows of Fear

Fear is a natural response to protect us from danger. But when fear becomes our dwelling place, it becomes unnatural. The mind becomes the battleground for our fear, creating the shadows of an unseen enemy. These invisible enemies are elusive to others and often are misunderstood; family and friends have no idea of the hold fear has over us. The mind is a powerful darkroom for fear’s creations.

It is said that, Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed. The darkroom manufactures shadowed beings that seep into our mind and loom over our future. Fear is a plague that can settle over us, bleeding its poisonous thoughts in hopes they will settle and stain.

When we are fearful we find it hard to be positive. Fear breeds negativity. Negativity breeds pessimism. And, fear drowns out hope. What’s needed is a light to shine in the recesses of our mind to shoo out the cobwebs and the images that threaten us.

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.   ~ Ruth E. Renkel

This is putting a positive spin on a fearful situation. There is truth in it; with God there is always a light in the darkness. It means looking for the silver lining in the cloud or a rainbow in the storm. If we can look for glimmers of God in the midst of our fears, we will be trained to see His hand at work around us and be set free.

I have struggled with fears for as long as I can remember. The unnatural fears began to take over when my children were small and my husband, John frequently traveled away from home. With three children under the age of two, nighttime was the worst. Sleep wouldn’t come because I was too overcome with ‘what-ifs’—What if there was a fire? What if someone broke into the house? I was paralyzed in my thinking of what I would do. How would I get all three kids out of the house safely? Where could we hide from an intruder

Somehow in the midst of my darkroom, the light of God’s voice broke through to the depth of my spirit. It wasn’t an audible voice, yet it was a strong impression in my heart—I heard, ‘Who is your protector, John or Me?’

That glimmer of light in my darkness was the turning point. I know that God saw me and understood my fear. I knew He was with me and would watch over us while John was away. Scripture tells me that Perfect Love casts out fear. His love.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen—I was able to sleep, trusting in His protection. He gave me the peace of His Presence and I encountered another facet of my great God.

So, when fear overwhelms you and you find yourself in the darkroom what do you do?  He promises to bring light to all our dark places. I would love to hear how His light has dispelled your fear.

Article adapted from content which originally ran on The Stream's Edge.

Jeanne Doyon writes, speaks and teaches; she enjoys encouraging others to love God's Word and to draw nearer to the Lover of their souls. She is a graduate of Christian Communicators. Jeanne is a contributing author to Fighting Fear, Winning the War At Home, and Kisses of Sunshine for Women as well as Crosswalk.com. Her articles appear in Evangel, Live, Proverbs 31 and Living Magazine. This article is excerpted from her work-in-progress entitled, Practically Fearless. She shares her reflections on her blog at www.streams-edge.blogspot.com. Email Jeanne at jeanne.doyon@gmail.com and find out more about her speaking topics at www.jeannedoyon.blogspot.com

Publication date: July 18, 2013