Submitting God to our Fear

From yesterday: Too often we submit God to our fear, rather than the other way around.

I heard a story once of a family whose daughter had some health problems. She had to have some tests done and, fearing the worst, the family was quite anxious about the potential news. One day they got a call from the doctor’s office, and they let it go to voicemail. The family was absolutely convinced that it was bad news (re: fear). Why were they convinced? I have no idea, but the family was so convinced that it was bad news that they sat down to pray that God change the test results from bad news into good news. They then called the doctor back and found that the news was, in fact, good. They were convinced their prayers had worked.

This is an odd story to me. I believe God is capable of doing those kinds of things, if he wants. He’s powerful enough. But it seems that this family subjected God to their fear, rather than subjecting their fear to God. They could have taken a step back and realized that they were viewing their circumstances through a lens of fear, then confidently answered the phone because they trust that God gives us an alternative way to live.

With God, we can confront good news and bad news alike. Instead, they wanted God to “change” the news. The fear told them that the news couldn’t possibly be good. And, I think, this is a way of saying that faithful people should not get bad news- and so we should pray when we’re afraid of bad news that news be changed to good news.

Faith tells us that there are many possibilities.