Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fear and Trusting God

When my first husband, Jeff Ethell and I began working with drug addicts in 1970, we were newly-weds (2 years) with a zeal to serve the Lord. What we read in God’s Law assured us that God is sovereign and that He provides for His own, and we took God at His Word! The organization we were under (Richmond Youth Challenge) was struggling for funding, but we trusted God would supply our needs.

At first we lived in an apartment over a camping sales business, and had two former drug addicts living with us. Over and over again God supplied for us in many ways. One day someone drove by and left some money on the kitchen table while we were out. Their note said they had been impressed by God to give us everything in their wallets– $16.35. That was the exact amount we needed for paying a bill! 

When God provided Richmond Youth Challenge with a large two story house as a place for women addicts, the blessings continued – we would be given bags of groceries, or pieces of furniture with which to furnish the house. Church friends used their carpentry skills and materials to add bedrooms and baths to the unfinished upstairs. We saw many women saved from the power of sin, and God’s constant provision was faith-building to them and to us.

Jeff and I had no medical insurance, but God provided funds to pay for our children as they were born– Jeff’s grandfather’s coin collection which he inherited paid for our first daughter’s birth. When our son was born, Jeff’s childhood comic book collection paid for that. Our third child was also covered by God’s providence.

Later, when we left the drug ministry, God provided a home for us. Though the lending banker was skeptical of our ability to take on a mortgage since we had no “regular job”, after we told him how God had provided for us for six years, he said, “You know, somehow I believe you!” And he gave us the mortgage! We lived there for 5 years and were always able to pay our bills. When we sold the house in 1984, we ended up with $15,000 equity which we used to buy another property and build a house!

Psalms 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

I am 64 years old, have trained three children, discipled several young ladies, and have lived through many trials, including the loss of my first husband in a plane crash, and the loss of my parents two years later; yet God’s presence and His sustaining hand has never left me. As we all face the uncertainties of our present financial turmoil, let us not be discouraged. God is still King supreme, the world and all it contains belongs to Him, He raises up and puts down nations, and there is nothing that happens– not even a sparrow falling!– that is beyond His control!

The first and last  “Fear not” in the Bible (with countless others in between!):

Genesis 15:1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, FEAR NOT, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

Revelation 1:17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, FEAR NOT; I am the first and the last:
18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.


  1. Thank you for this post, fear has been the sin that "so easily" besets me. When I trust in the Lord, He never fails, but my memory often does.

    I also appreciate a blog such as this from a mature woman. While I appreciate all the blogs regarding Biblical womanhood, it is especially helpful to read from someone who had greater life experience. I am not far behind you!

    May the Lord continue to bless you as you seek to glorify Him,


  2. I came across your blog late tonight, and I have found it inspiring to see a woman in your generation truly aspiring to the biblical requirements of Titus 2. I have one question, though, after I realized that you had at one time lived near Richmond, VA. Do you still reside in central VA? Wondering, because I do, and it would be great to 'see' someone else from 'my neck of the woods' on the internet!

  3. I do live in part of the original state of Virginia, only now it is called West Virginia! I live one hour west of the Virginia line.