12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly to[c] the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.
“…now even more, in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
I used to be really confused about verses like these: “Fear the Lord?” It sounded like a punishment waiting to happen. It sounded like anything but freedom. But I was wrong. It takes a beautiful kind of faith to keep working out one’s salvation. No, it’s not working for but working out; it’s very similar to working out physically in that it takes time, discipline, and constant effort. Not to throw a platitude to the wolves, but it’s a lifelong process/journey. While I am waiting for God to return, I’m working on knowing God and letting Him work out the tangles of my dark heart, and, in effect, making room for my heart and actions to match up with God’s idea of how life should be lived.
“But Rachel, don’t you want to live life how you want to live? Don’t you feel constricted by trying to be someone you’re not all the time?”
Well, let’s be honest; of course I’m selfish sometimes and do want my own way, but that doesn’t mean I have to give in to that if I know it’s not a positive, healthy thing to do. There have been times in my life that I felt frustrated that God gets His own way and I’m just caught in it, but the truth is that His way will happen, regardless of how I feel or act. The choice each of us must make is whether or not we want to get on board and be a part of something really hard but eternally rewarding or if we’d rather go our own way. God doesn’t say we have to go His way, but He’s also very fair in following through with consequences.
So basically, what I’m trying to say is that I’m doing my best to remind myself of why I chose this path, how much God cherishes each of us, and to think positively about the future. That being said, I’m still struggling with anxiety but I’m choosing to keep reminding myself of what God has promised us.