Faith Over Fear
It is a true privilege to write for So We Speak. The team here does incredible work, and I am humbled by how God has allowed me to contribute to their platform. Writing articles about God and his character brings peace and joy to my heart and mind as I go through life.
I process life very imperfectly, as we all do. I have bad days where my world feels minuscule, insignificant, and like God has forgotten me. I question God’s goodness and his faithfulness. Like Elijah in 1 Kings 19, I respond sinfully to my twisted perception that God has left my side. Amid all my doubts and fears, God has given me a passion to serve him and live my life for his glory. The sovereignty of God and his faithfulness has been a strong theme in the articles I have written for this organization. There is a story (and a reason) behind this.
I was born with an eye condition that has resulted in a lot of eye diseases. Growing up, I was constantly in and out of eye doctor appointments. In the summer of 2018, God took me through a trial I never thought I would go through at the age of 23 – maybe 50s, but not early 20s.
An emergency visit to my eye doctor revealed a severe eye infection combined with intense glaucoma. The saga of eye-pressure spikes in both eyes continued for the next three weeks. It all culminated in quite a bit of vision loss in my left eye.
That season was extremely challenging, yet God used it to grow my faith. It proved crucial for me in developing a theology of suffering and how God works not only through the blessings, but the challenges as well. I spent multiple nights afraid to sleep for fear that I would wake up blind in one or both eyes due to high pressures. I clung to 2 Corinthians 12, “'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’…For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses.”
God proved to be faithful. He never left. My diminished vision is a daily reminder of that season and his sovereignty.
Currently, as I write this article, I face another “eye trial.”
The retina in my left eye is tugging more than “normal,” resulting in further decreased vision. I will be seeing my retina specialist within the next two weeks.
It is extremely tempting to cave to fear. Yet, my heart does not bow before fear. My heart bows before God. Blindness (in one or both eyes) might be in my future, but I will bow before the King of Kings.
Exodus 4:11 says, “Then the LORD said to him [Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” This is a tough verse to stomach. It challenges our sense of justice. Yet, for my own heart, this verse is encouraging. God is not angrily smiting me with eye problems. He is lovingly bringing these trials into my life for the purpose of his own glory. He is sovereign over it all. I can trust my God.
In the mid-1700s, Susanna Anthony wrote:
“For when the glory of God is my highest end and desire; and I believe that God, Who has the ordering of all my affairs, has this in view, namely, His own glory, well may I rejoice. For I have nothing to fear. He has infinite wisdom to direct, and almighty power to affect what He pleases, and therefore can never fail of His purposes. All His dispensations towards me, I would always realize, as the result of infinite wisdom and eternal counsel; and therefore most perfect. And though my proud rebellious heart dares rise up in opposition, and call into question His ways, yet through grace, I never leave struggling, until the conquest is gained and my soul submits to the scepter of Jesus.”
My heart’s cry is for the glory of God to be my sole desire. Fear comes to the surface when I lose sight of God and his ways – of his bigger plan for my life than my comfort. When I wrongly believe that my way is best, I spit in the face of my God and his pre-ordained plan for the furtherance of His kingdom. God’s plans are not always what we want, but they are always what we need.
God has proved faithful over and over again. I desire to echo Peter when he says to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). I want no other Master. I want no other Shepherd. Only my Master and Shepherd possess the words of eternal life. That life is eternal. It lasts forever. This is where my hope must lie – not in earthly circumstances.
There have been much more challenging trials fellow Christians have walked through with a much stronger faith than mine. Through this quick snapshot of my personal struggle, my prayer is for the spiritual encouragement of those who read this and for you to press into God as your anchor and your mooring. He is your rock and your refuge.
“All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.”
- Frances J. Crosby, 1875
Brittany Proffitt lives in southern Ohio and holds a BA in Religion. She is passionate about Scripture and how God’s Word impacts individuals’ hearts and lives.