In the grip of fear

It’s not that I don’t like easy. I really do like easy. But easy rarely ever gets us much, really. My parents taught me to work hard. They pushed me to do hard things. I grew up believing that I could do anything, and that I could accomplish anything if I was just willing to work hard. Honestly the only thing standing between me and world domination was fear. It was the one thing I grew up not learning how to handle well. 

So often, we stand at a crossroads while trying to make a decision. There are usually two choices. Easy and hard. We can come up with so many excuses to go the easy route, and so many reasons why we should avoid taking the hard path. Quite often, it is fear that keeps us from doing hard things. Fear of loss. Fear of failure. Fear of ridicule. Fear of the unknown. Even fear of harm. 

Studies show that only about 15 percent of the things we fear ever actually come to pass. If we do the math, and this is math even I can do, that means that 85 percent of the stuff we are afraid will happen…won’t. That’s a lot of time spent on the fear of things that are never going to come to pass. 

My mother had a lot a quirky sayings. One of my favorites was, “If they kill you, they can’t eat you”. Where she got that one, I have no idea, but she would say it to help me when I was afraid of being in trouble or of making someone angry. 

I have a few quirky sayings of my own. My personal favorite is “Let’s not jump off that bridge until we have to”. That little saying is banking on the 85 percent. It also has to do with the fact that I try to keep fear at bay these days, and I do my best to make decisions based in reality rather than on some intangible fear. I have even intentionally tried to avoid beginning sentences with “I’m afraid…”. Our words matter, and I don’t want to label myself as fearful right out of the gate.

So many times we are paralyzed by the fear that stalks the halls of our thoughts, and we fail to do the very thing that would be the absolute best option for us, or the ones we love, because of it. 

God has a few sayings about fear, too. Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. And in one of the most famous prayers of all, Psalm 23, the Lord tells us, that even though we walk through rough times that bring us even close to death, we have no reason to fear the evil around us- because God the Father is with us. Like a good shepherd, He has the means to protect us from harm, and we should be comforted by that. 

When we operate out of fear, we do not behave like the overcomers we are as children of the Most High God. We are called to be strong and courageous, not fearful and timid. Most of the time, when we are walking in fear, we are giving in to the plans the enemy has for us rather than the plans the Lord has for us. Quite often, those godly plans require us to be brave. But the best thing about being a follower of Christ is that we never have to be brave alone. Isaiah tells us that God goes before us and He is our rear guard. We can truly leave fear in the shadows where it belongs and walk in the confidence that being a child of the light affords. After all…

If God is for us… who can be against us? 

I mean, really?

So what do you think?

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