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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

Faith or Fear?

As I sat on my deck, a robin foraged noisily through a wet pile of leaves in my yard, pulling my attention away from my heavy thoughts. The bird was flicking leaf after leaf over his head with his beak, creating a cascade of foliage. I tired of his messy landscaping so I stepped towards him. Off he flew. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ For a minute, I felt envious of his ability to easily escape what bothered him. That freedom appealed to me, as I sat grounded in confusion and disappointment. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ But this bird wasn’t flying away to mount up like eagles and embrace his freedom. He was flying away because he was afraid. Of me. No matter how appealing flying away from the hard stuff seems, I know running away because of fear actually keeps me from the very freedom I desire.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ How then can I find freedom when sitting in discouragement? Too often, I can be like the Israelites, forgetting with each new despair, all of the times that God has shown up big. But I noticed in reading Psalm 42, the Psalmist (likely David) battled despair by remembering God. After telling God, “… My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember You…” (Psalm 42:6, ESV), he lists the ways he saw God deliver him from trouble and anguish. He remembered. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ So, for days when I am stuck in my head, I began a memory journal. Just as the Word teaches and reminds us who God is, so, too, do the very real ways He shows Himself in our lives. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ At the top of the first page, I wrote out Psalm 42:6. The pages that follow capture meaningful jottings of His miracles, His faithfulness and His goodness in my life. It’s a simple, powerful record of His very real love. And like in Psalm 42, when I slow down to remember His goodnesses, my discouragement turns to hope again. When I read His blessings in my own handwriting, I’m humbled by His faithfulness. ⁠⠀

Read the rest at The Joyful Life Magazine.


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