Fear Not

The Guideposts executive editor explains on how to have faith in tough times.

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I keep thinking of a conversation I had at the gym the other day. Another guy like me in his early 50s was going through his usual workout and in between a set of weights he said, “I’m really dreading going to work today.”

“What’s up?” I asked, doing my own huffing and puffing.

“It’s all these layoffs that are so depressing. I keep thinking I’m going to be next. I’ve got a lot of work and my clients seem to appreciate what I’m doing, but I start worrying and there’s no stopping it.”

“Yes, the worrying is the worst of it.”

He grunted under the weight of the barbells and admitted, “I’ll say.”

The stories are starting to pile up, friends, friends of friends, people from church, neighbors, parents of our kids’ friends. An early-retirement here, a downsizing there, a severance payment, a pink slip. They put faces on the statistics in the newspaper. Jobs are disappearing and it can be especially hard on the guys of my generation, men with kids in college and dwindling savings that were meant for retirement. But what I also hear from friends is what I heard at the gym. That gnawing fear that can make every day at work an agony.

Last night I was talking to a friend who works for one of those big banks that’s on life support. For months he hasn’t been sure what’s going to happen with his job or if he’s even going to have a job.

“We had a men’s retreat at church last weekend,” he told me, “and it was so helpful. It reminded me of how I had to trust. That whatever is going to happen, that however things turn out, I can trust God will see me through it.”

That’s the right place to be. Fear is endemic in times like these. But fear does no good for anyone. Faith is what it takes to get through the day. A big dose of it. Give it to yourself. Give it to your friends. Remember who will get you through the day…and the weeks and months ahead.

Godspeed.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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