I have had a problem with fear most of my life.
Oh sometimes I can be fierce. Sometimes I’m the first to jump off the high dive. Or chase my little brother’s bullies down the street.
But other times the fears of life seem overpowering, lurking in every shadow, causing me to question every decision, every move, until I am afraid to make a choice, or move a step—even a tiny millimeter—forward.
Fear is paralyzing.
And once it sets up camp in our minds, it’s still not satisfied to stay within those boundaries. It wants more. It creeps past its established perimeter, and occupies new territory … until all areas of our lives and thoughts are waging war against it.
It is paralyzing.
But God says, “Stop!” Like Gandolph in the Lord of the Rings, he heaves down his staff before the huge and terrifying shadow monster and commands, “You shall not pass!”
Because God is God. Sovereign. All powerful, all knowing, all present (at all times and through all time), all merciful and all loving. Not a God who stands far off and washes his hands of this world and its trouble, but a God who is near us. A God who is with us. Emmanuel.
He is with us in the BIG. He is with us in the small. All we have to do is go to Him, love Him, trust Him, and be obedient to his sometimes still, sometimes thundering, voice.
What is he calling you to do today? Lead hundreds? Or love the one entrusted to your care?
Don’t let fear immobilize your calling. Don’t let it keep you from stepping forward in faith. Don’t let it diminish the beauty of God’s love expressed through you, every day, as you step around the fear and take hold of God’s hand.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid … In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 14:27, 16:33
If you are experiencing a rough patch of life and fear seems overpowering, check out this virtual Bible study from Kimberlie Retz Kessler of Soul2soulsister:
Sara Nelson O'Brien is the author of
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