#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.
Deuteronomy 1:17 NIV
Have you ever been hurt by someone? All of us can think of a time where we were wronged by someone else – a friend, coworker, a family member – and the emotions that go with it.
Several years ago, I had a painful falling-out with a very close friend. I was surprised to find that along with my feelings of anger and betrayal, there were times where I felt scared.
Not scared for my physical safety, but scared of further conflict. I am not naturally a passive or fearful person by nature. As a therapist, although I don’t like dealing with conflict, I am trained to stay calm and work through most situations.
But in this case, the hurt, anxiety, and anger seemed like too much. Just the thought of running into her somewhere would leave me shaking, and I felt fearful that she would say something cruel and hurt me even more. I felt like an abused dog in a corner, snarling, cowering and fearful.
Fear can be a dangerous emotion. One that overrides the calm and collected person we try to be.
I’ve learned over the years that to find peace, instead of berating myself to “just get over it,” I need to turn to God. This verse reminds us that when we are in the midst of a conflict and feel overwhelmed and alone, God is still there.
He hears our hurts and fears, “both small and great alike.” He sees it all: the life-changing moments when we receive a negative test result from the doctor or lose someone we love and the “smaller” moments, when we are hurt by someone we care about. When we are falsely accused of something. When we feel frustrated and fearful that others will view us negatively.
In Deuteronomy 1, Moses was explaining to the judges in the land how to handle cases from people who felt angry, hurt and anxious about conflicts they had experienced with others. He reminded them to listen without partiality, but more importantly to remember that ultimately, God is in control.
Thousands of years later, it is still a powerful reminder. Even if things seem unfair or someone wrongs us, God is the ultimate judge of others (including me and my reactions). We are not called to shrink and cower from those who have hurt us.
Instead, because God sees everything, and has a greater plan for our lives, we can step back from the anger, fear and hurt. We don’t have to defend ourselves or state our case on social media against that person. Instead, we can simply turn to God. He hears us and is in charge.
We don’t always find justice or closure when we’ve been hurt, but I am learning that is okay. My God is in control, and if he tells me, “Hilary, do not be afraid of anyone, I’m in charge of sorting this out, not you,” I’m going to listen and accept His peace.
Hilary Cobb is a mom, a runner, a part-time therapist and blogger who lives in Caldwell, Idaho (outside of Boise).