Have you ever had a fear that appeared to be larger than life?
Water is mine.
I love water. (Makes perfect sense, right?)
I drink enough of it on a daily basis to partially qualify as a fish. I sleep like a baby at the sound of it falling from the sky. I dream through it’s salty waves as they kiss the earth. The tranquil acoustics of it rushing downstream over smooth rocks sends me into a trance.
My toes adore it. But much further than that, and my heart begins to tremble.
I don’t want it in my face. I’ve used my eyeglasses as an excuse for years now, but the truth is, I simply despise water in my face. I can’t go underwater without plugging my nose. In fact, it hasn’t been but a few years since I stopped holding my nose in the shower. In the shower.
Maybe it’s just not my thing. Maybe as I’ve grown older, I’m just not that into it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I lost my big brother to it. I’m really not sure. Or maybe since having children, I fear losing them to it as well. I’ve not always been terrified of water, so yes, that could be the culprit.
What I am certain of, however, is that no matter how great my love of water, my fear of it is always twice as colossal.
Sure, I’ll wade. I’ll pitter-patter. I’ll ride in a boat, and I will even hop on an inter-tube and enjoy the ride. But once I’m immersed, panic sets in.
And though it doesn’t directly involve immersion (unless something goes wrong), the mere thought of one particular activity has always caused me to leap into a frenzy of fear.
There. I said it.
My husband has dreamed often of owning kayaks and going down river together. My reaction: “Heck to the NO.” I’ll spare you the list my head always conjured up to reason this response.
I hate fear. Though, I seem to have become well acquainted with it over the years. More so, my kids have, and it generates quite the domino effect. I do my best to keep personal fears at bay, so that my kids can’t feed off of it. And I do not serve a God who authored Fear. I have faith in Whom I serve. But, it finds a way to creep in every now and then, doesn’t it?
I started to become annoyed by this fear. Over it.
I recently had the immense honor of serving 50 women at a book launch retreat for one of the [amazing] authors I have the privilege of assisting. We retreated to a beautiful, off-the-grid location. We deeply experienced new friendships… Jesus… and new adventures.
One morning, there she sat on the river bank, in her yellow grandeur. Waiting for an occupant. And I knew. She was waiting for me. Okay Lord…. let’s do this.
I didn’t hesitate. It was as though I was on autopilot, or some sort of gravitational force was pulling me towards her.
I buckled up, pushed her to shore, and sat in the dirty kayak. It felt right.
We connected in an instant. “One with the water”… is that what they say? Well, I felt it. That.
Beautiful friends cheered me on. They snapped photos. I snapped photos… from the kayak. Whoa God, you are COOL!
It felt incredible to conquer that fear. Absolutely incredible. In fact, I even mustered the courage to surrender another [unrelated] fear later that day. God rose up strength within me that I’d buried.
I wouldn’t classify myself as a fearful person. But oftentimes, small fears succumb to bigger fears, and then morph into monumental fears, which eventually dominate our lives. Our independence. Our courage. Our will to live. To press on. To survive.
Fear. The other F-word.
If I used the “F” word, I’d use it to tell fear to get the heck outta dodge. I would remind fear who my Daddy is, and that He is bigger and badder and MORE THAN CAPABLE of taking care of me, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! And life is too short to be bound by something like fear, am I right?!
I don’t know how fear has manifested itself within you today. I don’t know the size of the mountain it has formed in front of your path. I don’t know the chains that it is using to bind you. But I do know that those fears… that mountain… those chains… are real.
I know that my God is also real, very much alive, and big enough for those fears. In fact, when we surrender them to Him…
He is BIGGER than enough.
“Take a long, hard look. See how great he is—infinite,
greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!”
If I were to list each of the fears I’ve ever had, or those that I continue to fight, this would become a novel. I’m sure you have your own list. If you’ll read on in the book of Job, you will learn that we are far from the first on this planet to walk through troubles and become nearly paralyzed by them. But even Job recognized how BIG God was!
Imagine what we could accomplish by simply surrendering our fears to our heavenly Father and allowing Him to rise up within us precisely what is needed to conquer those fears. Imagine those who could be saved from their own crippling fears, by witnessing our example. Imagine the chains that could be broken by our confession of those fears, as we become transparent enough to allow our friends to cheer us on as we fight back with faith, hope, courage… Jesus!
If He lives within you, then you have the strength, my friend, to conquer any fear. He has already embedded that strength deep in your soul. Allow it to surface. Use it. Rely on Him. Because honey, your God is bigger, and today, He wants to help you kick that fear in the face! Follow Him…. fearlessly!
Father, thank you. Thank you for equipping me with the strength to overcome anything that stands in the way of fulfilling the purpose you have placed upon my life. Thank you for surrounding me with cheerleaders who celebrate in your name when I am able to conquer mountains and valleys and everything in between. Thank you for being ever-present in my times of trouble. Thank you for answering when I call out your name. Thank you for being real, and for being bigger than any stupid fear that has and ever will attempt to knock me down. I love you, Lord. I lift the person reading this to you now. Breathe courage and life into them. Rise up within them like they’ve never experienced before, and carry them beyond this mountain of fear. Break the chains that keep them bound. Surround them with encouragers who will cheer them on. Give them the boldness to surrender and conquer. Offer them sweet kisses and hold them in their darkest moments. Where fear threatens them, become louder and brighter to them. Reveal to them the strength that you have already given. Remind them of Whose they are, and that you are big and more than capable, and that you’ve got them. You’ve got them. I adore you, Lord. I love you. And I pray this in the precious name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
I’m always excited to link up with Suzie Eller on #livefreeThursday!
How big is our God? Read the linkups to hear more stories of just how big He is!