Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fear, Interrupted

One theme that has proven to be a constant in my life is fear. Fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of what others think about me. In the past few months, I've sensed the Lord leading me to do a number of things that, er, aggravate this issue. One involved stepping into a situation that might include a lot of conflict. One involved doing something new in front of others that might result in total humiliation. Another involved being subjected to physical pain and the unknown. 

In all of these situations, I dreaded the follow-through. I knew I was supposed to say "yes" and step out in faith, and I knew that "yes" meant facing fear: that butterflies and sleepless nights were part of what obedience looked like for me. The good news is that in all of those situations, the Lord sustained me. I made it to the other side alive and well, and with just enough encouragement to say "yes" the next time a scary calling presented itself. 

One thing I'm learning about being a Christian is that it doesn't mean life will be easy or comfortable. It doesn't mean I can hide behind God's "robe" as it were and let Him deal with all the things I'd rather not have to face, such as an angry friend, a room full of people staring at me, or a scary operating room. But it does mean that I can accept His calling when it includes things that intimidate me. Why? Because He's died and risen so that I don't have to live a life controlled by fear. He's put that old master to death and given me a new life, in His Kingdom of love and freedom. 

Though it still makes me incredibly uncomfortable, it is good and kind that He pushes me in the direction of walking in the freedom that belongs to me as His child. Freedom from fear of the future-- He is my loving Father who will provide. Freedom from the fear of failure-- He turns all mistakes into beautiful opportunities to grow and learn. Freedom from the fear of what others think-- no matter what happens, my identity is secure in Him. Even fear of physical pain-- He endured the unbearable so that my body could one day be fully restored. 

I'm finding that these opportunities to say "yes" to Him regardless of the anxiety I feel are the very means by which He is eliminating this dynamic in my life. The more I listen to Him-- instead of the fear that would otherwise paralyze me-- and realize His promises are true, the more I realize: there is actually nothing left to be afraid of. 

1 comment:

Cameron Shaffer said...

You're gonna have to tell me about the specifics of these fearful situations.