Fear is exhausting! Anxiety saps us of energy and strength, making us weary and often downright grouchy. Oddly enough, as tired as we are, fear and anxiety steal our restful sleep as we lie awake trying to figure out the hows and whys. They rob us coming and going. No wonder we can't accomplish the things we want to accomplish. We're living in a sleep-deprived stupor with barely enough energy to function. That's the cost of fear and anxiety.
But where they take, confidence gives. Israel didn't seem to get that any better than we do. In Isaiah 30, the Scriptures describe Israel's poor decision to turn to Egypt for help rather than trusting in God. Their fear led them to team up with the enemy, and God wasn't happy about it. He tells them in verse 15 that they could have been saved if they had only returned to Him and rested in His promises. He would have given them strength and victory if they had been quiet (i.e. stopped scheming and complaining) and had confidence in the One who had promised to meet their every need. But they would not.
What a sad phrase! And what a sad reality, for God is telling us the same thing. We need to stop trying to work things out and trust Him to do what He does best. We need to stay out of God's way and in His will. We need to be confident in His good nature and unending love for us. And when we do, we'll find strength like we've never imagined and sweet rest that will further strengthen and energize us.
If we choose, instead, to allow fear and anxiety to rule and reign in our lives, we'll face the same plight Israel faced.
They fled. They had no choice but to run for their lives, and the running continued. Instead of standing firm in their confidence in God, they fled from the face of their enemies. Instead of gaining strength, they expended it as they ran. Instead of finding rest, they found themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, knowing the enemy could arrive at any moment. So much unnecessary suffering because they wouldn't place their confidence in God.
Are you seeking strength today? How about rest? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Then maybe it's time to examine what's ruling your life and directing your walk. Are you living a life of faith, confident in Who God is and what He has said, or are you fretting over situations beyond your control and fleeing the enemy? The choice is yours, and the price is high. Choose wisely.