If we can’t count on God, for crying out loud, who can we count on?
What frightens you?
Whenever you get hit by a wave of insecurity, the wind driving it is always fear. This is true whether the flare-up is monumental or comparatively mild. The moment you’re cognizant of an outbreak of insecurity, learn to check your heart for what you’re afraid of. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll rarely come away from that diagnostic test empty-handed. No need to make this complicated. Imagine two simple scenarios.
You’re standing at a coworker’s desk. A simple conversation ensues. “Did you hear about . . . ?” No, you hadn’t heard. Suddenly, a wave of insecurity wells up inside of you. A fear of some kind is driving it. Learn to instantly identify it. Trade it in for trust.
You’re at a crowded restaurant with your man. While waiting for an available table, he and a woman you’ve never met greet each other enthusiastically. She turns out to be a coworker you’ve heard him mention here and there. You had no idea she looked like that. Suddenly, a wave of insecurity wells up inside of you. A fear of some kind is driving it. Learn to instantly identify it. Trade it in for trust.
If you and I were at a sidewalk café having this conversation over cappuccinos, you might be in a position to respond to the second scenario like this: “But Beth, I don’t know if I can trust my man or not. What if I’ve seen red flags and something really is up?”
I’m not talking about trusting your man in the middle of that wave of insecurity, although I deeply hope you can and do. I’m talking about something much less reliant on frail flesh and blood: trusting God. Trusting God with yourself. With your husband. With your job. With your health. With your family. With your friends. With your threat. I’m talking about entering into a transforming, two-sentence dialogue with a very real, very active God who sees all things and is intimately acquainted with everything concerning you:
You: Lord, I don’t know if I can trust ____________________ or not.
God: But can you trust
Any time insecurity hits, you can be sure that you are afraid of something. The question is, what? The answer could be one of many possibilities depending on our present vulnerabilities, but it can get subtly ignored behind the upheaval of insecurity. You have to look beyond the obvious to see the wind driving the wave. Maybe you could use a jump start so you’ll know the kinds of things you’re looking for. Beneath that sudden outbreak of insecurity:
You may fear proving stupid.
You may fear rejection.
You may fear anonymity.
You may fear being alone.
You may fear being unimportant.
You may fear betrayal.
You may fear being replaced.
You may fear disrespect.
You may fear being hurt.
You may fear pain of any sort.
Nothing has come more naturally to me than fear. I understand the insanity of some of it and the sheer normalcy of most of it. I’m often afraid because the world proves over and over to be a scary place. Like yours, the majority of my fears have been unfounded, but some of them have been almost prophetic—as if my rehearsals did anything at all to make the reality easier. Listen carefully: either way, whether founded or fictional, our fears will never do us a single favor. If fright would somehow insulate us from specific outcomes, I’d say let’s jump out from behind a door and scare ourselves half to death every morning for good measure. If imagining it would keep us from living it, let’s all quit our jobs and spend our days transfixed on the couch in a mental horror flick of our own making. The fact is, fearing something doesn’t jinx it—even though we wish it would. Neither does it prepare us for it. Fear consumes massive amounts of energy and focus and can chew a hole through our intestines, our relationships, and countless great opportunities. At the risk of oversimplifying, the kind of fear we’re talking about is a colossal waste of time.
I used to think that the essence of trusting God was trusting that He wouldn’t allow my fears to become realities. Without realizing it, I mostly trusted God to do what I told Him. If He didn’t, I was thrown for a total loop. Over more time than should have been necessary, a couple of realizations finally dawned on me about this thing I was calling trust: (1) It wasn’t the real thing. (2) It constantly failed to treat the core issue. Trusting God to never let our fears come to fruition doesn’t get to the bottom of where insecurity lurks. It’s too conditional. It suggests that if any of our terrors come to pass, God is not trustworthy after all. If, like me, you tend to think that the essence of trust is counting on God to obey you, go ahead and wave bye-bye from a country mile to any semblance of lasting stability. If we can’t count on God, for crying out loud, who can we count on? In the words of Isaiah 33:6, “He is your constant source of stability” (NET).
I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m stating that if we want to be secure people, this mind-set is a necessity. Sometimes trusting God means taking no further action. That’s when a verse like Psalm 46:10 speaks loudest: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Other times trusting God means regrouping with Him until the fog clears so we know how to take the next step. Nothing can mislead us or make us jump the gun faster than fear. For times like these when action is necessary but not obvious, Proverbs 3:5-6 hits the nail on the head: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (NLT). I love the succinct way Psalm 37:3 says something similar: “Trust in the LORD and do good” (NLT).
has written many best–selling books and Bible studies, including
So Long, Insecurity
. She is a dynamic teacher whose public speaking engagements take her across the United States to challenge tens of thousands. A dedicated wife and mother of two adult daughters, Beth lives in Houston, Texas, where she leads Living Proof Ministries and teaches an adult Sunday school class.