Posted by Jeannette Doran
Fear seems to surround us at every turn. In print and on air, the message is fear. How can one be free from fear and anxiety? Recently, the news brought a glimmer of hope as the world rejoiced in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. In the simplicity of their lives their faith and prayer to God was their strength and confidence that God was able to perform this miracle and hope that God would. We watched as they prayed and offered thanksgiving to the God who saved them. Their faith and trust in God awed most. Perhaps their example of faith and hope shows us a way to find a serenity that will lead to freedom from fear.
In my search I have come to realize that our confidence in God's love expands as one experiences God's touch and our faith becomes more tangible. Spiritual growth and knowledge envelop one in peace and stave off fear. As we grow in understanding that God is truly our refuge and strength fear will not take hold of us. For fear and anxiety cannot exist in a heart that sees God’s touch on our daily lives. I find God’s presence in scripture as well as the golden fields and the yellow orange sunsets of autumn. All these nurture my confidence and faith in God and expand God in my life.
St Therese truly experienced that God “is occupied with each soul as though there were no others like it.” In Scripture we are urged not to fear, to trust always and “to pour out our hearts before God” Who is our refuge. (Psalm 62v8). We read of God’s tenderness and love telling us that we will never be forgotten, that God draws and leads us “with human cords, with bands of love like someone lifting an infant to their cheek.” (Hosea 11v4) God delights in us and when we fail remembers us and deeply yearns for our return. In Jeremiah we read: “I am filled with tenderness towards [you].” (31v.20
As we grow in intimacy with our beloved, God’s life flows into our being, we lose our fear and anxiety and we find God's loving Presence in every detail of our lives. We do at last find a lasting serenity.