No fear. What an awesome feeling that must be. But sadly I come from a long line of “overly cautious” individuals-- a strong gene wedged deep within my DNA-- passed from generation to generation. But thanks be to God, I also come from a long line of faith-filled, courageous individuals. And so, depending on the moment and the focus of my gaze, I can choose to walk one of two paths.
I have found that being courageous is not being fearless. No, it is often times acting in spite of great fears and choosing to do, by God’s grace, what you feel God is calling you to do, not simply what feels “comfortable”.
For example: I recently dropped my daughter off at sleep-away camp. For most kids this would be a happy occasion but for my sweet little one, it was a day full of anxiety. She too has the “overly cautious” gene, but even so has an indomitable spirit and perseveres in spite of her own timidity.
Camp day arrived after a week of touch and go excitement. She had resolved to go, but at the last minute her friend who was to attend with her became ill and so she was left to go it alone.
After initial panic we called upon the Lord* and asked for a special grace-- that God would give her courage and strength to be up to whatever He called her to do. We reminded her of the fun she would have and of how much she had enjoyed it in the past. We packed up the car and off we went! But with each passing mile the anxiety level rose. As we turned off of the interstate she asked nervously to pull over in order to catch a ride from a passing car headed towards home. We told her to trust in God to provide all that she would need in order to have a great week.
Driving into the entrance we saw many happy campers, but still, check-in was a mix of tight grips and jaw-clenched grins. And then...the camp t-shirt was given.
Who but God could have orchestrated this? The theme for the week:
“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” St. Joan of Arc
Praises be to God! He is always at work on both ends of a problem.
He knew what she would need before she did!
Got fear? Cast it into the loving lap of Jesus and see how He provides.
“Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
I admit, I am a big chicken, but thanks be to You, I do not have to act like one. You have given all that I need to do all that You call me to do, so thank YOU! May I take You up on Your daily offer of grace. May I keep my focus on the ANSWER, not the problem. May I move forward in faith knowing grace will come in the moment, no matter what my current circumstances seem to dictate. Jesus, I trust in You. Please be bigger than all of my fears.
I ask this in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*Need a few “EMERGENCY NUMBERS” to call when the fear levels rise? Try these:
When you are anxious, call Philippians 4:6-7
Philippians 4:6-7: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
When you are afraid, call Psalm 27:1, Psalm 56:4 & Isaiah 41:10
Psalm 27:1: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?”
Psalm 56:4: “…when I am afraid,in you I place my trust.”
Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
When you are worried, call 1 Peter 5:7
1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.”
When you are seeking peace, when your heart is troubled, call John 14:27 & John 16:33
John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
John 16:33: “’I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.’”
When you are facing danger, call Psalm 91:1-2
Psalm 91:1-2: “You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shade of the Almighty,Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
When you are scared, or dealing with fear, call Psalm 23:4 & Psalm 34:7-8
Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.”
Psalm 34:7-8: “This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them.”