My cell phone number isn’t the easiest number to remember. The digits are about as random as they can be. I’m not sure what makes a number “good” for spamming, but apparently mine is pretty good. A couple of months ago, my bill was higher than normal, but I assumed I had either used too much data or too many airtime minutes. It was around the time of my daughter’s wedding, so the phone was certainly used more than normal during that month. Upon looking at the bill more closely, I saw the charge was for some sort of “Trivia Texting” that I had never ordered.
When the texts came in, I just ignored them, much like spam email. After receiving another spam text from a different source, I called customer service to request help in making sure I wasn’t billed fraudulently again. Turns out, to avoid the charges, I needed to do something: text a reply that stated simply “stop.”
I’m not sure where I learned the art of ignoring things that I wanted to go away, but I learned it at a young age and used it for most of my life. In my mind, it is counter-intuitive that something might end up costing me if I ignore it. In my experience, however, I have learned that the things we ignore can end up costing us … a lot. Perhaps it is a misguided interpretation of how to trust in and wait on God. Trusting in God shouldn’t imply doing nothing. Instead, trusting in God implies relying on Him to guide us in our decisions and moves. I can see in some instances of my life that my decision to ignore things was based more on fear that I would make a bad choice or face a challenge bigger than I could handle than on my belief that God would work it all out. My lack of action has many times been a sign of being paralyzed by fear instead of a motivation to stand in my faith.
Even now, I face a need to act on something I’d rather ignore. I know, however, that it won’t go away just because I don’t deal with it. Kind of like Trivia Texting, the charges will continue to accrue until I send the “stop” text. Are you afraid to do something you know you have to do? These moments really are tests of our faith. The presence of fear doesn’t necessarily mean we have little or no faith. Our faith activates when we DO what we know we should do even WHILE feeling afraid or unhappy about doing it.
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)