Trust And Fear Not, For God Is

I have experienced many blessings in this life, but I have also faced formidable storms. Perhaps you understand. I have often heard it said if you are not coming out of a storm, or currently in a storm, expect a storm will be coming.

words + photograph NANCY EASTER

I was blessed to have been raised by a Christian father in a large family: three sisters and two brothers. Our father faithfully took us to church without the participation of our mother. It was by the grace of God, and my father’s witness, my mother came to accept Christ as her Savior just months before her passing. What an answer to many years of praying and a great time of rejoicing this was. Our father raised us to know we had purpose, that what we did in life mattered, and that God had a plan for our lives. After all, we are children of The King.

I trust and fear not, for God is:

Omniscient. He is all-knowing. Jeremiah 29: 11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Accessible. When we pray according to His will, He hears us. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

My high school years were filled with many rewarding activities: sports, music, youth group at church, cheerleading and art. I had several wonderful Sunday school teachers whose influence helped lead me to Christ and guided me as a young Christian.

I was fearful to stand before the youth and do the opening devotion as I was asked to do from time to time. What a blessing this youth leader was as she encouraged leadership skills and spiritual growth of each student. When I graduated, I was blessed to receive the student-athlete award for my school. Receiving this attention may have contributed to me thinking more of self and less of Jesus, as I transitioned into college years. C.S. Lewis said, “Don’t shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you others see Him.”

Our father raised us to know we had purpose, that what we did in life mattered, and that God had a plan for our lives. After all, we are children of The King.

A storm was coming when my walk was not following the plan God had for my life. I found myself expecting a child. My boyfriend, soon to be husband, and I hoped we were ready for a family and life together at this young age. The storms during those early years came fast. With the help of God’s people, repentance on my part, and the mercy of God, we did make it through. God brought me through the storms by reminding me who He is and how I could trust and fear not, no matter the circumstances.

I trust and fear not, for God is:

Preserver. He preserves us so He will accomplish His purpose for us. Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Merciful. He does not give us what our sins deserve. Psalm 103:8 says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”

My husband and I were both teachers and coaches; God blessed us with fulfilling careers and a beautiful family. God gave me many victories, including three years in the Final Four and coaching in a state championship game. It was such a blessing to sponsor teams in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, lead youth mission trips and serve as a deacon’s wife.

After 23 years of marriage, we again began to see a storm on the horizon. The focus was no longer on God, and the vows of our marriage were ignored. Looking back on this time, I can clearly see God was leading and guiding, even though we were not walking the path God had for us. I was so fearful of what was going to happen. God reminded me of who He is and how I could trust Him in this storm and fear not.

Our marriage ended in a painful divorce. I was on my own with the three children.

It was time for a new start. My children and I moved to a new town and searched for a church home. We visited a church recommended by a former pastor, and it was there I clearly saw God’s provision. I was struggling to find child care after the care I had lined up fell through. Sitting in a ladies’ small group right before school started, a lady had a prayer request. She needed one more toddler to fill her daycare.

I trust and fear not, for God is:

Provider. God gave His son as my Savior, and I can trust Him to give me everything I need. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his gracious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Omnipresent. I know God is always with me. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I taught and coached for 31 years before retiring. Shortly after, I found out my father had Alzheimer’s disease and would need some assistance. It was such a blessing to help care for this man who had cared so well for us. This storm was one of the hardest my siblings and I had ever gone through. It was so difficult one of our siblings pulled away from the family, and we mourn to this day over the lost relationship. We recently moved my oldest sister from assisted living to a memory care facility, as she has progressed to the late stages of Alzheimer’s. This is a most difficult storm to weather with a loved one, but during our visits, I am able to enjoy hearing her play the old hymns and quote scripture. God has given her this witness despite not being able to have meaningful conversations. She continues to light up the room with her smile and to be a blessing to those around her.

I trust and fear not, for God is:

Good. We experience His goodness even when bad things happen. Psalm 100:5 says, “He is good … His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

He is incomprehensible. We cannot understand God’s thoughts or ways, but thankfully we can understand all we need to know about God because He has given us His Word and His Spirit. Job 37:5 says, “He does great things beyond our understanding.”

Continuing to walk in the path God has for me, I did not see the next storm coming, a storm that would test my faith.

I learned my three children had inherited their father’s polycystic kidney disease, a disease they had a 50 percent chance of inheriting. They had seen him go through getting a kidney transplant and watched it ultimately take his life. My oldest child was diagnosed in the labor room when doctors had to take my grandson early because of her high blood pressure. My youngest son was diagnosed at 16 when a sports physical for cross country revealed high blood pressure. My middle child was recently diagnosed when tests finally revealed his cause for pain. Although this breaks my heart for my children, I am reminded of who God is and how He is in control.

I trust and fear not, for God is:

Creator and Father. He made us, and He sustains us. Psalm 2:7 says, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

Sovereign. God controls all things. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I choose to trust and fear not because of who God is. I am weak, but He is strong. He continues to grow me, strengthen me and use me through the storms of life. Choose Jesus today and put your trust solely in Him. It is such a joy for me to serve my Savior. He is worthy and faithful. NE

Nancy Easter may be retired, but she is not retired when it comes to her service to God. She strives to remind others who God is and all He has done for us.


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