He was beaten up in every area of life. His wonderful wife had suddenly left for heaven. At the time they had three children under the age of 14. He had a demanding job that met the family’s material needs but did not allow him enough time to care adequately for the children. One Sunday, when in church after his wife passed, he watched a couple in the row ahead of him. The husband shifted in his seat and put his arm around his wife’s shoulder. That caused his loneliness to peak. When he sought to make sense of it all he could not.
His spiritual life had become a struggle. He knew he could not rebel against the Lord. He fought to try and keep a sense of God’s love for him when everything around him seemed to shout the idea that God no longer cared. Then he found a new emotion rising in his heart when he thought about his Creator. He realized that he was becoming afraid of God.
He had never recoiled in fear from the Lord before. It was a new and startling emotion to him. His understanding of God was that He was a loving, sovereign, all wise Father. He struggled to hold onto his understanding of Who God was in light of his tragic situation. Questions flooded his mind. Was he being punished for some gross sin? He could not recall anything he had done to deserve such a disastrous life.
He did not know how to rid himself of the fear that filled his heart as he tried to make sense of his desperately confusing and painful life. What could he do to stop his fearful thoughts? Does our Creator wish us to have such fear of Him?
I believe that the fear of the Lord is not particularly to be scared of Him. Rather to fear God means to be in awe of Him, to be amazed at the One Who created the universe, and to be in wonder at how such an indescribably amazing and immense Being could love such finite creatures as we are. That is the real fear of God.
Reader, do you stand amazed at this God Who loves you and sacrificed His beloved Son to save you? His love for you is so immense, so profound that when trials come you must look to the cross and reflect on that witness to how great His love for you truly is. God loved the world so much that He gave His Son for us.
Oh, how I fear Thee living God
With deepest, tenderest fear,
And worship Thee with trembling hope
And penitential tear.
Yet I may love Thee too oh Lord
Almighty as Thou art
For Thou hast stooped to ask of me
The love of my poor heart.
- Frederick Faber