When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
The psalmist ends the words “My foot is slipping” with a comma, but whenever I’ve heard or said these words, they usually end in an exclamation mark. Usually said as more of a frantic, sometimes semi-muted shriek, when hanging off the side of a cliff while rock climbing, or 30+ feet off the ground on the alpine or rappelling tower. At that moment the terror of falling feels so intense, even if you know that you’re strapped into gear strong enough to carry a car, falling and pain and all-encompassing fear are all you can think about. Fear has such power over us. Even the simplest of things can have the power to completely control or even destroy a life if someone is afraid of it. Fear of heights is instinctual and it makes sense, falling from a height can easily maim or kill. But then there are things like the fear of peoples’ opinions, failure, the future, and its virtually endless possibilities, or the simple but terrifying fear of the unknown. We know we worship an all-powerful, omnipresent God, but there are so many things to be afraid of. Sometimes fear becomes so loud and strong it sucks our whole attention and we are left seeing nothing but the space below us wondering how horrible it will feel to land on the ground from this height. The real power of fear lies in its ability to distract from the truth. What is the truth? Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that He is the truth, and in Isaiah 26:4 we read these words, “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.” He is immovable and unchangeable, His goodness never ends, and He is always with us. Like the mountain that we rappel campers off of up in the Gap, or the strong tower that we tie our ropes to, He can handle us and our fears. Sometimes even though I know in my head that God is in control, I still feel scared, but when I look to Him, I remember what He has told me in His book, and I am reminded of His truth, His goodness, and strength, and it is then that I am filled with His hope and joy and peace, and fear has no place among these.