Oh, My Soul

I first heard this song shortly after my father was diagnosed with cancer, a time when my mind was spinning trying to understand exactly what God was doing.  Immediately, this song became an anthem in my life.  One line in particular anchored itself in my mind and has yet to let go, “There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.”

There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know!

Think about that for a moment.  What does fear fear?  Fear fears facing the God you know!

As I attempted to wrap my mind around that phrase, I envisioned God as a champion who was standing face to face with my fears to fight my fears on my behalf.  God – the perfect, holy, sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing, always present, creator of the universe – was fighting my battles on my behalf.  It was with this confidence, I was able to take peace in the fact that regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of my human nature and response to those circumstances, my God was bearing my burdens and fighting my fears.

1 John 4 reminds us first that God is love (v. 8, 16).  John continues in verse 18 with, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear.”  If the perfect God, whom we know, is love, then He must be perfect love.  If He is perfect love, then He drives out fear.  He casts fear away.  He destroys fear!

Throughout scripture, God commands us to not be afraid; however, in my finite humanness, I find that difficult to obey.  Yet, when I allow the God I know to face fear for me, then I can live a life without fear – fear of circumstances, fear of others, fear of failure, fear of persecution, fear of judgment!

Today’s Circumstances                                                                   

As I listen to this song amidst today’s circumstances, other lines jump out to me:

Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing

I think this describes how many of us feel in this unique time of uncertainty.  As students, your lives have changed – school is different, church is different, social life is different.  Your parents’ lives have changed as well – some of your parents have lost jobs or at least paychecks, many of your parents are struggling to find the necessities of life at the store (and pay for them if they find them), all of your parents worry about how this uncertainty is affecting you.  We are all weary and we all fear we’ve lost control.  But truthfully, we have never had control.  The idea of control we cling to has never been anything but a façade.  Truly, there is only one in control … the God you know!

After the stark realization this stanza paints, the songwriter follows with:

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know

There is the comfort – you are not alone – you are indwelt by the God you know and you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, the body of believers.  Then, there is the anchor, “There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.”

Life is hard, circumstances are uncertain, change is rampant, fears are real!  But the comfort is you are not alone.  Your life is anchored in the God whom fear fears!
-Luke M.