31 Aug How God conquered my biggest fear
Trials come in many forms, but God asks us to trust Him through them all.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3 (ISV)
Have you “heard” from God lately?
Men frequently ask me this question or the various versions of it (i.e., “How can I “hear” from God?), and my answer is always the same: I “hear” from God most often when I’m reading the Bible, God’s Word. It’s a sure-fire way to better understand His love, mercy, and forgiveness, and, of course, His rescue plan. That’s one reason why it’s so important to be in His Word daily.
Aside from Bible reading, I also frequently hear from the Holy Spirit in my prayers. It’s not an audible voice, per se, but a thought or an idea that certainly didn’t originate from my linear, often-twisted thinking. And, because I can’t trust my motives, I always take what I heard and compare it to the Bible, because the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s Word.
But, occasionally, God will just “talk” to me about something when I’m in the middle of doing nothing particularly spiritual: like mowing the lawn, exercising, doing dishes, or getting a shower. In this particular instance, Friday evening, August 18th 2017, I was getting ready for bed when God revealed to me what I now regard as my life’s most vital lesson, a decade in the making. I was startled that this lesson involved my biggest fear: my paralyzing fear of loss.
God revealed to me that, over this past decade, He carried me through all of my life’s worst losses including…
- nearly losing my bride, Suzanne, to medical issues;
- losing Dad and Mom both at age 63 to horrific diseases;
- almost losing one of my kids to depression caused by medical issues;
- losing my last two grandparents;
- losing jobs;
- losing several friendships because of our medical issues and circumstances;
- almost losing our house twice to near-bankruptcy;
- losing most of our retirement savings, and
- almost losing my own life to depression.
As my losses mounted over the years, I repeatedly asked – too frequently demanded – of Him, “God, why are you doing this TO me?!”
Not surprisingly, no answer ever came. Fine.
But, this time, God showed me the error of my repetitive question’s perspective. So, I quietly rephrased it into a better question concerning my losses…
“God, why are you doing this FOR me?”
And, this time, on this night, God absolutely humbled me as He answered that question…
“Over this past decade, Travis, I guided you through all of your life’s biggest fears to definitively show you that you can always trust Me.”
Wow! That is literally the most impactful lesson He’s ever taught me: God conquered my biggest fears – my fear of loss – to show me that I can always trust Him!
God did that not because He hates me, but because He loves me SO much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. This past decade has, in clear retrospect, been about dying to myself and having life in Him through perseverance developed through trials (James 1:2-3), even as He carried me. So, take what You will from me, Lord, because I especially know from these past 10 years that no one or nothing will ever take my Jesus: I will never lose Him! Earthly loss has no permanent hold on me, and it has no permanent hold on you, either!
Knowing this, are you willing to allow God to conquer YOUR biggest fears?
On behalf of our board and serving Jesus with you,
Travis L. Zimmerman
Pastor and Co-Founder