By Catherine Alles
I have a common and irrational fear of the dark. As a kid – and even sometimes now – when I had to turn off a light downstairs, I’d run as fast as I could to the top, looking back to make sure no monsters were following me. These days, when I wake up as early as 5 a.m. to go to work, it can still feel eerie when the streets are empty and everything is silent and dark.
My parents taught me to repeat to myself Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you, in God whose word I praise. In God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Whenever I focus on those words, my fear starts to melt away. Even if I'm physically shaking and mentally terrified, my soul finds rest in God alone.
Regardless of how you are doing physically, emotionally, or socially, if your spiritual life is out of control it will be impossible to experience true peace. David recognized this in Psalm 62:1-2, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” God is the only one who can grant us salvation. If we have been saved and if God is in control of the universe, we have no reason to fear the physical trials or mental struggles we face.
Of course, I have tried to find peace in other places, but that’s just left me emptier than before. No TV series will satisfy me eternally. No human relationship can bring fulfillment. No amount of ice cream or carbs can make problems disappear. These things are poor substitutes for recognizing who God is and what He has done for me.
These eternal truths – that He created the world, sent His son to die for us after we sinned, and continually pursues us out of love – are absolute truths in which we can find peace.