Is it true that anxiety rather than doubt could be understood as being the opposite of faith in our walk with God. I certainly can see this as being true in my journey. If I pay attention to my soul life, anxiety and fear, gets a grip on my soul more often than doubts about my heavenly Father. This quote from Ronald Rolheiser as made me do some soul searching. “What opposes faith is not so much worry about this or that particular thing as worry that God has forgotten us…that there is every reason to fear and be anxious because, at the core of things, there isn’t a benevolent, all-powerful goodness who is concerned about us.” Oh, yes!!! The dreaded thought that I am alone, adrift on the sea of life, not sure how I will make it through the next passage.
Is there a fear that at times on the journey God seems to have slipped of the radar screen? “It is this kind of anxiety,” observes Rolheiser, “the deep fear that we have been forgotten, that pushes any of us to make as assertion of our lives.” In other words, we take matters into our own hands, rather than trusting, because deep inside we are not confident that God will come through for us. We become anxious and fearful. “This anxiety is the opposite of faith. It is not so much the fear that God doesn’t exist, as the fear that God does not notice our existence.”
Here is what Rolheiser has to say about faith. “What faith gives you is the assurance that God is good, that God can be trusted, that God won’t forget you, and that, despite any indication to the contrary, God is still in charge of this universe. Faith says that God is real and God is Lord and, because of this, there is ultimately nothing to fear. We are in safe hands. Reality is gracious, forgiving, loving, redeeming, and absolutely trustworthy. Our task is to surrender to that.”
So there you have it. I usually don’t quote another author as much as I have in this blog. But it seems to me, that in our day of so much uncertainty regarding the future stability of our culture, along with the brake down in trust of our public institutions, we all need to reminded that our heavenly Father is in control and that he can be trusted. I close with the image of God as a loving, caring parent. This image comes from Isaiah 49:15, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Men, God has not forgotten you. His very presence dwells within you. He is loving you intimately in this very moment. Our posture is that of awareness and coming to rest in his love.