Monday, July 13, 2009

Worry and Fear Transformed to Trust

Here’s the Thing: Yesterday, Mike spoke about worry and the fact that it is a sin. Faith and worry cannot coexist. You are governed by one or the other.

I have been in wonder once again at how good God is and how faithful His Word is. Up until the last few years, my entire left has been consumed by fear and worry. Even as a child, I was almost always afraid and worried constantly. Afraid to be alone; afraid of crowds. Afraid to fail; afraid to achieve. Afraid that I would never be good enough. Embarrassed and worried about my physical appearance. Afraid that I could never be a good enough wife, mother, daughter, mother-in-law, grandma…….not to mention that pesky title, Pastor’s wife! How could I possibly pull that one off?

I have been transformed! I am NEVER afraid; imagine that! Worry no longer has any place in my life. This transformation did not happen all at once, it has come over a long period of time as I determined that I would trust God and His promises. The things that I experience now that would have kept me awake at night, sick to my stomach (and other physical manifestations that I’m too lady-like to mention here), no longer affect me at all! I look back on trials (and, yes, I still have them) and think, “Hmmmm, that was a little bump in the road, wasn’t it? What can I learn; how did I see God at work in that?” This, my friends, is nothing short of a miracle!

My last real “melt-down” came exactly a year ago when Mike and I travelled to Hong Kong to be Bible couriers into China. The second night, I experienced a spiritual attack unlike anything that I had experienced in many years. I was so afraid, so jet-lagged, so hot, so over-come with new smells, that if I could have gotten home somehow, I would have without hesitation. I was committed, though, for two entire weeks (including a period of time when Mike would leave me to travel for the first time to Vietnam). I was nearly paralyzed by fear, and here I was supposedly there to serve the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel. Satan certainly wanted me to fail!

Those of you who know me well, know that I am not a crier. I am pretty steady emotionally (I used to “worry” that this was a character flaw--that I was a frigid cold fish). I now know that God made me with the ability to see both sides of issues and has gifted me to remain calm and collected--an analyzer. Well, not that night! I cried liked I hadn’t cried since I was a child. My dear Mike crawled down from the upper bunk, we prayed, searched the Scriptures, rebuked whatever Spirit was trying to hinder my success and guess what? It left! I woke refreshed, restored, renewed and ready! I even enjoyed myself while Mike was gone for three days. I never missed a day of carrying my precious cargo across the border. At the end of two weeks, I was not ready to leave and am excited about returning in the summer of 2010.

Since last summer, I have experienced no worry; no fear. Many of you might think, “Yes, but Robin, you and Mike had it made. Your life is like a fairy tale.” Well, the truth is that Mike and I still live in a very real, fallen world. Jesus told us that there would be trials and trouble, and there are plenty, but His Word is true:

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

He knows so much better than I do! I trust Him with my life, with my husband’s life, with lives of my sons and their wives, and with the lives of those precious seven grandchildren. I agree with Job: Job 13:15 “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him."

Transformation is available! It is possible! Delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)


  1. Hi Robin,
    I thank you for sharing so openly about this. I am blessed by it.
    I am wondering about the "in between" times between first hearing about something (news) that rocks your world, the time it takes to think through and process in your mind, and to come to the place of submission. I am still wondering about that "time" it takes. When does the time it takes to process through (thoughts to get to how to deal with, decisions to be made etc.) turn from being a human initially dealing in concern and knowledge, when does it turn into worry. I'm struggling here wondering when it changes into worry or stewing or just doing what needs to be done by thinking it through.

    I hope this makes sense. We had this convo. last night in our small group. Is there a fine line? I mean I know when I'm undone and it's gone beyond. But is concern and responsibility worry in it's earliest form?

    God Bless,
    *Not trying to be Pharisetical sp? just on my mind.*

  2. If I am truly transformed, I capture the "worry" thoughts as soon as I get the upsetting news. This is the point where you have your first choice whether or not to worry or cast your care upon Jesus and trust that He knows better and more than you. It is also at that point that my prayer is either a "worry" prayer or a prayer of "faith." This is not my last chance to choose faith, but if I continue worrying, I'm wasting my time, draining my energy and trying to control something that is out of my control.

    I am infinitely stronger when Jesus is in control or in other words, I have authority over the situation, because I have given God control. I can see clearer, I can think clearer, I can act more effectively--that is authority! Worry cancels it all!

  3. Dear Robin, I have soaked up your words for several years now, and I know that you are part of my continued "transformation." I have recently had several things lifted from my life that I have been able to honestly let go of. (I really do need to catch you up on things)! It is such a peaceful feeling but it is a continuous "job." Does that make sense? I have plenty that I could worry about, as most people do, but that gets me nowhere. The renewal of my baptism several weeks ago was "another" turning point in my faith. I am so thankful for Living Water, you and Mike, and my Creator.

  4. Dear Rob,

    You don't have to worry if you have your faith in the right place - and you and Mike are as solid in that respect as any couple I know! Your lack of worry has been "well earned"!


  5. I am a constant worrier. I need to learn to live one day at a time and I am getting better at that but it definatly is a day to day struggle. I am always fearful that if I myself do not try to control a situation then no one including God will take over and be in control!! When in all reality I am never in control anyway of the outcome. I am slowly getting to that point of total surrender. That is what I want...That is what I long for. To be totally free in Jesus Christ and to live everyday without constantly worrying and trying to control what will happen tomorrow.


  6. And you sai you are not articulate with words - I think not my friend! Awesome! Thanks for sharing this! Looking forward to seeing you BRIGHT and EARLY Wednesday morning! I'm so excited to share with you what's going on and here how your week was. Hope your last night gone is great!

    Take me to China with you next time! =]

  7. Great subject for me! It reminded me of I Pet 3:6 " are her daughters (Sarah's)...if you do not give way to fear." I have spent way too much of my life giving way to fear. When I hear you say that you NEVER are afraid, it amazes me! And gives hope! It really has only been since this journey to C began that I have even looked at fear as being the opposite of faith, and sinful. And I have seen him begin to change some of these areas of my life. Flying, for instance. I used to have such physical symptoms before and during flying. I couldn't believe the Father would really ask me to do something I was so afraid of. But the last couple of flights we have taken have been so much better, even enjoyable at times! He has been changing that as I give my life into His hands and pray against Satan's attack. I really just realized on our last trip that fear is truly an attack from the enemy. It's not from God and it's not just my idiosyncrasies. On Wednesday this week, I was feeling so burdened by some things going on in our family and so helpless to help because of being so far away. After Dan prayed against this attack (I couldn't even do it myself), I felt it lifting. Praise Him! I have so much to learn about this topic. Thanks for sharing your heart about it.