Learn to conquer your fears and see your life through Jesus’ lends of bravery.
One night, after my three youngest children were tucked into bed, I told my fourth and oldest child, Carter, it was time for him to go to bed as well. He walked slowly, and much quieter than usual, into his bathroom to brush his teeth. When he finished, he returned to the living room and burst into tears.
“What is wrong?” I asked him, concerned.
“I can’t go to sleep,” he told me. “Some kids were talking about The Walking Dead at lunch today, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.” Carter is prone to nightmares and he has a thing with zombies; they’re sort of his kryptonite. While he has never seen The Walking Dead, the title alone is enough to conjure up images of bloody, gory, ready-to-take-your-life zombies. Carter was terrified.
Do Not Be Afraid
So I did what all mamas do. I told him to go cozy up in my bed. As a child, there is nothing more comforting than climbing into your parents’ big, soft bed with larger-than-you-pillows and nestling deep into their blankets and down comforter. Even if they are not present, you feel their protection hug you from all sides.
I laid down in next to him, Bible in hand, and we read out of the book of Joshua. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
We talked at length about Joshua’s mission. About the obstacles set before him. About his hesitation and fear, and God’s provision and protection every step of the way. If God did all of that for Joshua, wouldn’t he do it for Carter too? Won’t he do it for you?
The thing about fear is that if we surrender to it, it steals so much of what God intended. We automatically lose the opportunity to:
- participate in God’s mission
- live out the unique story God has planned for us
- watch God perform miracles through us and for us
- overcome our fears
- allow God to strengthen us
- allow God to refine us and become more like Jesus
We all fear something in life: death, cancer, finances, job loss, failure, losing a loved one. Sometimes we can control our fears, yet other times our fears control us, paralyzing us and preventing us from living the life God calls us to live. (If You Could See as Jesus Sees, p.g. 202)
What about you? What do you fear? Death? Financial issues? Rejection? No matter our fears, God has given us everything we need to press on and live out the call he has given us.
I love The Message version of Joshua 1:9. In it God says, “I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you.” This shows that God believes in us. No matter how many times we doubt, no matter how many times we given in to our fears, no matter how many times we fail, he will never leave us.
He goes on to encourage us, “Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.”
God doesn’t want us to lose sight of the end goal. He knows if we do, we will sink faster than Peter walking on water.
When we live on mission with Jesus, we must never look around at what everyone else is doing. We don’t have the luxury of worrying about what other people think or say or do. Like Peter when he took his first step off the boat, we must put on our blinders and forge ahead, thinking of one person, and only one person: Jesus. (If You Could See as Jesus Sees, p.g. 205)
Let’s stop seeing our lives through a lens of fear, and start looking through a lens of bravery. If God has called you, God has equipped you. He will not let you fail.