Most young children are afraid of the dark. The light can be turned out in a room that they are familiar with and they suddenly become afraid. Objects that were once familiar now bathed in darkness look different and scary. When the light is turned on the child realizes that the scary object was really just the laundry hamper. It wasn’t that scary after all.
I think that the same is true in life. We have this goal that we want to achieve; we know precisely where we want to end up but in order to get there we have to go through some challenging and often times scary things. We may have this task that we need to accomplish in order to get to our goal but this task for whatever reason scares us. So, instead of facing it head on realizing and remembering that God is with us we run. We create excuse after excuse and dodge every opportunity to complete this task because we’re scared of what might happen; good or bad. When we finally get the courage to tackle this task we realize that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. It wasn’t as scary as we thought and we flew through much faster than we thought possible.
I don’t know about you but I know that I can often have the same experience when it comes to God. I know that He loves me and that He sent His Son to die for the forgiveness of my sin but I often times let myself get caught up in some of the “scary wording” as I’m reading through the Bible. I become overwhelmed when I realize that that one particular sin that I had been working on mastering wasn’t quite as simple as I thought. Just because I don’t steal, lie, or do drugs doesn’t mean that I am any better than those who do. I have sin in my life just like the next person. We all do–just in different ways.
When we realize how badly we’ve messed up it can cause us to want to flee. We may think that we have messed up so badly that God just doesn’t want anything to do with us. But here’s the things. Those sweet stories of redemption and grace that you may see from time to time about how God did this or that for this person or that person—He can do that same thing for you!
There is nowhere else to go but to the One Who made us. If we turn to Him and walk in His light he will lovingly show us the error of our ways, give us grace sufficient for our time of need, and lead us on the better path. God is absolutely perfect and He loves us just as we are. The Bible tells us that “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18).
We will always struggle with fear because we haven’t yet been made perfect–that’ll happen when Jesus comes again. Some of us struggle with fear more than others and that’s okay because God made us all differently all in His image. If we let Him work in us He will expose the areas of distrust and fear in our lives and show us that His grace truly is sufficient for every need we may ever have.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast of my infirmities; that the power of Christ may rest upon me…For when I am weak then I am strong.”
~2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10b
Until next time,
Right before I started Kindergarten I was VERY nervous as most young children are. So, in an effort to calm me down and encourage me my Mom did something very special that has stuck with me to this day…
She reached into my jewelry box and pulled out two small angel lapel pins. She pinned them onto my shirt and told me that one pin represented her and another represented my grandmother. She wanted me to remember that they both loved me and supported me. That although they couldn’t be with me in person they were still with me in spirit.
Eventually over time I forgot about the angels. I didn’t wear them for years and they stayed in the jewelry box. Except when I faced something uncertain and scary. I’d pull them out and carry them with me. When I taught my first Bible class by myself I pinned them on the bag I carried. I wore them on my jacket each time I took the ACT.
Before I graduated high school I remember lying in bed one night thinking and praying. I had two angels but I wanted a third to represent the Trinity. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. So, I prayed and asked God to give me a third angel to place with the other two.
The day I graduated high school I received a package. It contained a sweet note from a very dear family member and an angel necklace. I received my third angel and an answer to prayer. So, when I graduated high school I wore the angel necklace and my angel pins were just beneath the podium. Ever since I have kept the angels on an old handkerchief in my purse. That way they are with my wherever I go.
I was watching a Television show the other night about a man and his grandfather. The man was applying for a higher position at work and needed to do something a little scary. His grandfather handed him a piece that was a “family heirloom” that belonged to his great-grandfather. The man carried it with him and he did just fine. Afterwards he asked his grandfather if he could use it again someday and the grandfather told him that he didn’t need that “heirloom”…he went on to tell his grandson that the “heirloom” was actually the brand-name magnet from his refrigerator! The grandfather in his wisdom told his grandson that he didn’t need any “heirloom” to do big scary things because he had all he needed right inside of him!
This got me thinking. As much as I love my angels (and have no intention of not carrying them) I don’t “need” them to do big and scary things because I have Jesus with me. He lives inside of me (1 Corinthians 3:16). He is with me in everything and goes before me telling me not to fear. He’s never going to leave me alone in this life or the next (Joshua 1:9). I can remember that I have “not [been] given a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Until next time,
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…”
~1 John 4:18a
I’ve heard it said that people have two very different responses to fear; they either let it motivate them or they freeze. As much as I hate to admit it I usually end up frozen by fear. I come up with these great ideas and then think of every single potential problem that could maybe, just possibly, hypothetically happen. And then I let all of those potential hypothetical problems stop me in my tracks.
For me, when I lay in bed at night and feel like I have forgetten to do something I have realized that that’s when God is telling me that I’m not following His plan for my life. The reason that I’m not is simple. Fear. I have let the fear of what could go wrong rob me from the joy of what could go right.
“My grace is sufficent for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness..”
~2 Corinthians 12:9a
I also tend to be a perfectionist. I don’t want to do anything until I can make sure to do it just right. I didn’t talk until I could talk in sentences. I didn’t walk until I could walk across the floor. But what I am learning is that God doesn’t call us to be perfect. He calls us to be His child (See 1 John 3: 1-2). We in our own power will NEVER BE PERFECT. We are only perfect though the blood of Jesus (See Hebrews 10:10 + 1 Peter 1:18-19). He tells us not to fear, but to trust Him. He knows exactly what we need and that if we seek Him first He will supply what is lacking (See Matthew 6:25-34).
I encourage you to take a look at your life and see what is stopping you from fulfulling your dream. Don’t be frozen by the fear of what could go wrong. Instead seek the Kingdom of Jesus and know that He will supply everything that you need all you (and i) have to do is to trust His word.
Until next time,
Ohmygoodness! I can’t believe that it’s already May!! In 14 days I will have been graduated from high school for 1 year—an entire 365 days!! I find that bit of knowledge equally joyful and horrific. In some ways I feel that I have grown SO much and experienced so many new and wonderful things. Then in another way I feel that I am nowhere close to where I want to be—that I still have way to much left to learn.
But then I remember this: That’s what life is all about. Learning and growing. Constantly trying to do better. To be more like Jesus. To reflect Him in every moment of every day. I have made so many changes in the last year some good, some bad. Some that I have managed to stick with, others that I’m lucky if I can stick to the change for a day.
I’m currently trying to define exactly what it is that I want to do, how much I’m willing to pay, and what sacrifices I’m willing to make. Where exactly I want my dream to go, how far I want to go with it and most importantly where God wants all of this to go; where He wants me to go.
I’m learning about where it is that I am weak and how to remember that He is stronger in my weakness. I’m learning (very slowly) that it’s okay to be different. That God calls us to be different, to stand out from the crowd. He wants us to know that following Him will lead us to live radically different lives than those we know who don’t follow Him. And that that’s okay.
I’m learning that I have to follow Him even when I’m completely scared out of my wits. Even when I have way more questions than answers. Yes, even when I want to scream that all of this is crazy and I’m the biggest nut in the bag to even think that I can attempt this. I have to remember that God had all of this planned since before the earth was even created. I have to remember that God’s got this. That because He holds the world in His hands He is more than able to hold my heart and brain and all the problems that come along with being a human in this extremely messy world AND the best part is that He doesn’t just hold me and tell me that it’s going to be okay He shows me in every page of His word and guides me by the hand through this crazy wonderful thing called life. I have to remember that.
I have to remember to trust Him and lean on Him in everything.
Until next time,
** This post was originally written on 5/2/16 and edited on 9/14/16.**