Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Friday, August 12, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

A few weeks ago we took two of our grandchildren on an overnight fishing trip to Lost Creek Reservoir, a favorite place when our children were young. When the reservoir was drained and strengthened a number of years ago, they did away with overnight camping and campfires. It was the end of an era for our family. However, below the dam is a campground that is still open, even though fires are prohibited. We were delighted to discover that we had the whole campground to ourselves.

When we walked around the campground, I thought of past camping trips to the area. One episode that happened before David was diagnosed stood out in my memory. There had been a family reunion scheduled nearby, and at the last minute David had a major anxiety attack and refused to go. I was not going to miss out on the chance to visit with my family members, so I repacked my car (instead of the truck and camper we were going to use), gathered up my four children who were going, and left David at home for the weekend. I have to admit it was a frightening thing to do, I'm grateful David was more or less OK when we came home, and I'm glad I went. After the reunion (and a good cry when everyone else had gone home), we decided we wanted to camp out another night and ended up at Lost Creek. That's when we discovered the reservoir had been drained. It was only a marginally successful experience because I was so worried about David's state of mind and didn't know what to do.

Fast forward more than ten years later. The reservoir is clean, quiet, and restored to its former beauty. David has accepted his diagnosis, adjusted to his medicine, and courageously and valiantly learned how to control his disorder. The four children I had with me that day are now married with families of their own.

I keep thinking about this episode because so often when we are in the middle of a trial, we wonder if it will ever end, and we expect the worst. But if we will keep doing our best and take it one day at a time, things work out. And often, it turns out that our darkest fears never materialize. For instance, a friend commented recently about the fears we faced as a society during the Cold War when bomb shelters were being built and we had drills in school about what to do if there was a nuclear blast. Happily, much of the hysteria of the time has ended, and although the theme of fear still exists in different ways, I believe that we will find our fears to be groundless even though it doesn't seem so right now.

When I find myself starting to fret and worry about David, family, society, the government, etc., I need to remember that there really is a loving Father who sees the beginning from the end and who will guide us if we let Him.