Wintry trees with a gray backdrop remind us that sometimes we feel fearful and alone

@JeanneTakenaka

Shortly after Hubs and I married, he attended a three-month school on the other side of the country. Night after night, fear washed over me as I worried about something happening to him. When my lights went out before bed, fears lit up my mind. Now that I finally had a husband, the fear of loss was powerful. 

We’ve all grappled with fear. In Genesis 43, a few different “faces” of this foe reveal themselves in Jacob and his sons. 

A cluster of oak leaves, symbolic of how a fear of loss can bring thoughts that cluster in our thoughts

Today, let’s focus on one aspect of fear. Next week, we’ll look at a couple of others. Joseph, Jacob’s favored son, had lived in captivity in Egypt for many years. The known world was in the middle of a drought. Jacob’s family needed food, so he sent his ten oldest sons to Egypt to buy some. 

While there, the men met an unyielding Egyptian official. He questioned them and learned they had a younger brother. He insisted one brother stay behind until the other men returned with their youngest brother. 

Wheat-like grass growing . . . like what Jacob's sons picked up in Egypt

The official gave them grain, and he secretly restored their money into their grain sacks.

When the men discovered their money, they feared the official would think they’d cheated him. 

The brothers conveyed to Jacob all that happened, and when they told him they must bring Benjamin with them if they wanted to purchase more food—Jacob freaked out.

Red leaves peeking out from beneath a fluffy blanket of snow

When Fear Comes Knocking

Jacob was scared of losing his youngest son, just as he lost Joseph, Benjamin’s older biological brother. He avoided this decision for what seemed like weeks. Two of the older brothers made vows to Jacob to ease his mind. But Jacob wouldn’t be comforted about the possibility of losing Benjamin. He couldn’t let go of his youngest son, because what if . . . 

Now there’s a question with the power to halt us. What if the worst happens or things don’t go the way we anticipate? If we lose our dignity, our respect, our finances, our reputation, our ______, what then?

Now there’s a question with the power to halt us. What If . . . ? #tellhisstory #fearofloss Click To Tweet
A solitary tree covered in snow . . . symbolic of how a fear of loss might feel . . . isolating.

What if . . . ?

Jacob faced a crisis of faith. 

In time, Jacob chose to trust God and his older sons to protect Benjamin for the journey to Egypt.

A line of trees near a road with a mountain in the backdrop . . . the colors offering hope for dealing with fears

Sometimes, we want reassurance before we step into a vast unknown. And though we receive that reassurance, we still must make a choice.

Sometimes, we want reassurance before we step into a vast unknown. And though we receive that reassurance, we still must make a choice. #tellhisstory #fearofloss Click To Tweet

And Jacob did. He said, “If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!” (Genesis 43:14)

Jacob faced a fear of loss.

What about us? 

Fear plays tricks in our thoughts. It speaks in our voice, and its lies sound persuasive. 

A wet road lined with snow and bare trees . . . a little stark, like how fear sometimes causes us to feel

Five Thoughts for Dealing With a Fear of Loss

  • We must learn to discern the difference between the voices of truth and fear. When we allow the “What if” question to play out in our minds, we’re opening the door to fear. 
  • Our Father is a God of truth. To combat fear, we must get to know the character of our Father. Does He sometimes allow the worst-case scenario to become a reality? Yes. Is He capricious? No. Our Father is good, even when He defines “good” differently than we do. God loves us, even when He allows difficult circumstances in our lives. 
  • When fear feels real, we must bring it before the Lord. We need to see how those fears line up with God’s word. When they don’t line up, we must recognize the lies for what they are. If they could align with His word, we ask God to reveal Himself, and we choose to dwell on what we know about God.
  • When we’re afraid of losing something or someone, we must hold them with an open hand before our Father. Though there are occasions when we may lose that thing we value, often the fear ends up being nothing. 
  • We must evaluate whether we love that thing more than we love God. If the answer is yes, we must ask the Lord to realign our priorities and, again, hold that person or thing up to Him with an open hand.

Is this scary? YES.

But, when we trust the Lord with what we value, fear loses its grip on our hearts and minds. 

Choosing to Trust

As for my fear of losing my husband, God gave me a choice: live sleep-deprived for the next three months or trust Him. I decided trust was the better option. Each night, I had to retrain my thoughts to focus on what was true. 

A meme with the words: "finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." ~ Philippians 4:8 on a backdrop of white lacy trees on a backdrop of blue sky

When the fear of loss began pinging in my thoughts, I recited verses that reminded me of God’s character and the truths that He loved me and was watching over both Hubs and me. Eventually, I began sleeping better. And when Hubs came home, I felt almost as if God shone an indulgent smile on me. 

What about you? What helps you not to be controlled by fear? Which Bible verse speaks most to you about fear?

This week, I’m linking up with Grace and Truth, Inspire Me Monday, and #Instaencouragements. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

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