My anxiety had teeth that summer day. In the quiet darkness of the early morning, apprehension stealthily lurked in my dreams and poised to strike with the initial ray of the sun. Before my first cup of coffee, my heart was hemorrhaging with fear as the deceitful claws of panic gripped my soul.


I knew the feeling all too well. My adversary, hidden in the unknown, prowled about my thoughts to whisper hopelessness before he locked his powerful jaws onto my weakness. My emotions continued on the hamster wheel of despair as I cowered into my day. 



Defeatedly, I slunk to breakfast, hoping a little protein would give temporary relief. I reached for my Bible, wishing I knew the verses better — praying for a promise. Somewhere there was a Shepherd. I’d been told that the One in this book was greater than the one who was eating me alive.


I thumbed through the concordance: “Shepherd” (n.) and began to search the references.


“The Lord is my shepherd.” I’d read that before, but had He ever truly been? “Like a Shepherd, He will tend His flock.” But was this what He would call tending me? “I am the good Shepherd.” I’d read that one before. I turned to John 10 to see more.


“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy.” I knew that experientially. This was the wolf who had his fangs in my brain. I also knew I was sick of his destruction. I was tired of his voice.


“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” So my Shepherd also has a voice. Could I hear Him? Why must He be so still? Why must His voice seem so small?


“The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord throws out lightening. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness. The Lord will give strength of His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:4,7-8,11).


Wow. I have a powerful Shepherd and He desires peace for me.


When I began to believe, I began to breathe. The evil jaws on my jugular released their grip, as the evil voice turned tail to truth and ran. Trust was my resistance. I welcomed the flow of hope.


My simple belief in the Presence of my Shepherd was the power needed to cause the old wolf fear to fear. I couldn’t outrun him, but I could resist him. The singular act of trust reveals authority I have to tread over all the power of the enemy — including that of anxiety, despair and hopelessness (1 Peter 5;9; Luke 10:19). I may be a sheep, but the predator of my soul is subject to me in Jesus’ Name (Luke 10:17) “Resist him, firm in your faith — this must become my fighting motto.


Faith is the Shepherd-given dagger to defeat the flesh-eating carnivore of fear. The spirit of belief defeats the spirit of anxiety every time. “The Lord is near. I can be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:5-6). 


believe breathe


Photography by Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram!



The morning of the party had arrived. Because I wanted everything to be just right, I’d asked both Mark and our teenaged daughters to help. 


Everyone had a list. Clean the bathroom. Dust your room. Unload the dishwasher. And because I like checking things off the list, each detail included a small hand-drawn box beside it. When all boxes are ticked, we’d be ready for company.


Are you a list maker?


My list making tendencies spill over into my spiritual life. Surely our efficient God desires the greatest amount of good for the least amount of energy.


And so, I used to make a religious checklist. Quiet time (check). Church meeting (check). Casserole to the sick (check).


One day, God revealed to me His very own checklist. Excitedly, I found someone had already asked Him the very question that I so wanted to know: “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 8:28).


In spirit, I pulled out my little white notebook and made the virtual boxes.  Here was His to-do list. Here is how I could “help” Him work.


“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.’” (John 8:29)


What??? That’s it? I can make a checklist better than that! Believe


And then with gentle revelation our Father urged me toward Truth. There is only one true action that we can “do” for God. Faith Him. 


This morning, He reminded me of this all over again as I read Song of Solomon 5:16: “His speech is most sweet, and He is altogether desirable.”


Do I believe that I will find His very own sweet Voice nestled within the Words the Scriptures? Do I faith that His Words to me are altogether desirable? 


No matter what happens — no matter my circumstances — will I faithe His heart? Will I believe that He truly has only the best in store for my life, even when my experience screams otherwise? I pray that He will give me the strength for this to be so.


After all, faith is the only thing on my checklist today.