Fear can be debilitating. After getting news about my uncle's death, there were so many "what if" questions rapping their knuckles eagerly at my door. A few minutes after taking the news in, I realized that the SMS could have been about one of my parents or even both of them. I had sometimes prayed to God that if it was His will, I would love to be able to go back to Indonesia when one of my parents died (not in a situation where I'm almost giving birth or that I'm renewing my residence permit or something else that makes me unable to go to Indo).
Then I started realizing that my husband could die before me and fear started slithering inside, ready to choke me. My brain kept on asking me, "What if Arttu dies when you're pregnant? What if he dies before you get pregnant? What will you do next? Will you continue living here or will you go back to Indonesia? What if...what if...what if...?"
Being born and raised as a planner made my brain automatically started asking me those uninvited questions. More and more questions popped out...
I used to have a problem hearing people say, "If it's God's will, then I'll do this and that." Why? Probably because I've seen some of them prayed and fasted with all their might without doing their parts. They even used other people's resources without permission and then they dared thank God for those "blessings" and they told those people whose resources they used, "May the Lord pour His blessings upon you."
However, recently I've changed my mind. We DO have to do our parts, yet the bottom line is: since I believe that He's the God that created everything and that can take away our lives just with a twitch of His eye, that means that EVERYTHING else is under His govern. Of course I have free will and I can do anything I want to do, but still if His time has not come yet, no matter how much I want it to happen NOW, it won't happen. And if somehow I can force it to happen NOW, nothing good will come out of it.
I was gripped by fear during one night while lying awake in our bed, thinking about the "what if" questions...but at the end of the reflection, I was reminded again that God wouldn't give me more than I could bear and that His plans were good plans and not evil plans. I was reminded to surrender to Him completely and to let go of my worries and my need to control everything or at least to anticipate everything.
And then it struck me how WELL He'd been taking care of me. I started remembering that when I moved to Finland, I had NO idea how I could find a Finnish course or how my husband could find a permanent job or how I could find friends in Sodankylä or how I could find some income online or how I would survive in this cold country, but in due time everything worked out well, haven't they? Even MUCH MUCH MUCH better than my wildest hope. All I needed to do was trust Him to open or close doors for me and wait for His perfect time to unfold.
Well, as you can imagine, only then I could start drifting to sleep peacefully. I breathed a sigh of relief as I left the rest of my worries to Him and just left them there.
Ironically, I find that trusting God isn't as easy as ABC. In normal circumstances, when everything seems to work out just fine for me, it seems easy to trust God. Oh yes, God has provided everything I need and I needn't worry. Life couldn't have been better!!! I'm on a roll!!! YIIIHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!
However, no matter how much I WANT to trust Him with all my heart, mind, and soul, in critical situations, I doubt and worry and fear.
But then again, without those doubts and those critical situations, I wouldn't be able to let my faith grow, would I? So let me just let my faith be shaken and stirred...and hopefully I'll always cling to God and surrender to Him at the end of the day and become more graceful and gentle and more loving and more teachable...until my last breath.
Image taken from here