The translation for the word fear in this verse does not mean we cower in fear to God. Rather it explains a reverance of our Lord, an understanding of Who He is and His Sovereignty at work. Our fear, or reverance, allows us to trust in Him; it gives us the ability to place our hope in a true God and to be able to take Him at His word.
His word, His spoken book of life, is full of promises that are true, hope for us to claim. This God-breathed Life Book fills and sustains us as we grow in Him and draw closer to His side, even and especially when we're broken and crushed in spirit.
Last Sunday we sang one of my favorite songs that so beautifully speaks of these truths:
Oh my God,
He will not delay!
My refuge and strength, Always.
I will not fear,
His promise is true,
My God will come through, Always.
Even as we sang, I could barely contain my emotion. I knew of broken lives, hurting hearts, souls desperate for hope who were standing in that very congregation praying for God to come through. I could recall a time when I stood there as one of those lives, wondering how this would all work out, how on earth God would redeem all that had been destroyed. Yesterday I got to share "my story" - bits and pieces of a life, somehow woven together by God's grace and His faithfulness, certainly not that of my own. It was a reminder all over again of just how good God is, even when human plans fail, even when heartache and devastation hit far too close to home.
He is not bound by time or circumstance. While the enemy wages a very real war against us, He is stronger and greater than anything we face. While relief and rescue may not come right away, in our limited scope of the present, His omniscience of how the scattered mess will come together to be woven into His masterpiece is where we can place our trust - knowing He will come through when we place our trust in Him.
All of this brings this verse to life for me. It doesn't matter what people have heard, what others assume, even the questions and gossip that may encircle your life. The devastation of your circumstance as you watch life crumble isn't for anyone to explain or judge. What I know to be true is that God can redeem any shattered life. He can restore even the heart that has been pulverized. Whatever pit of despair you may find yourself in, even at the hand of another, you are not beyond His reach.
I know how hard it can be. I know how hurt you may feel. I understand the depth of the devastation you may face. But I also know the goodness and graciousness of God. I rejoice when I see you, not because of what you face, but because I know His hand is upon you. Even when you're crushed in spirit, you can put your faith and hope in a God who infinitely loves and is working out His plan for your life. Even when your heart is destroyed, you can stand in reverent awe of Sovereign God, knowing that the miracle He will bring will cause those around you to rejoice. His redemptive work in your life will stand as a testament of the very goodness of His character and the depth of His love for His children. I stand as a living, breathing example of Him at work.