“Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s just deciding that fear isn’t calling the shots anymore”

~ Bob Goff

From Carly,

Fear.

I realize it’s hard to talk about this topic since most people are afraid of being vulnerable. Maybe they’re afraid of saying something they shouldn’t, something that would make them look broken inside or just different.

Even the thought of discussing fear is horrifying. Do you ever wonder why Jesus commands us to not be afraid as many times as He does throughout His Word and teachings? Genesis 15:1, Exodus 14:13, Deuteronomy 1:21, Matthew 14:27, Mark 5:36, Isaiah 41:10. The list goes on and on. Clearly, Jesus knew how powerful fear is, how important it can be in our lives if we allow it to envelop us.

My Experiences

Fear is an emotion I’ve blocked out for many years. You’re probably wondering how that’s possible, especially since I just explained how easily fear can take over. When I say blocked out, I really just pushed it to the side and kept doing whatever I was doing, whatever I was apparently afraid of.

“The Lord will provide, it’s not that bad, right?”

This is what I would say to myself as I pushed the entire emotion, and every feeling that came with it, away. What was I left with? Emptiness.

I truly believed the Lord would provide, that everything would be alright. The problem was that my reliance was not on the Lord and His ability to cast out fear, pain, suffering, grief, anxiousness or uncertainty. I was afraid of fear. I felt like I couldn’t come to Him with that particular emotion because He repeatedly says, “Do not be afraid.” So my twelve-year-old-black-and-white perspective of the world told me not to be afraid, it was just that simple.

Most of you can attest to the reality that it’s not simple, it’s not even close to simple. C.S. Lewis paints the perfect picture of how fear, of any kind, can affect you,

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.”

~ C.S. Lewis

I don’t want to say I’ve embraced fear over the past couple of months, but I’ve allowed myself to feel what it feels like to fully rely on such a sovereign God who fixes problems and soothes unease inside me.

As I began writing this post, a few songs popped into my head, especially the catchy chorus of Fear Is A Liar by Zach Williams. Seriously, go check that song out, it’s pretty awesome. All this to say, I was listening to a song the other day and some of it’s choruses stood out to me,

All I know is this
There’s nothing that You miss
If it’s not beautiful yet
It’s gonna be
There’s no fear or fight
That takes You by surprise, no
If it’s not beautiful yet
It’s gonna be 

When I can’t see beyond
A thousand things gone wrong
If it’s not finished yet
It’s gonna be
And all that’s unredeemed
And all that’s still unseen
If it’s not finished yet
It’s gonna be

lyrics by Iron Bell Music
“Glory to Glory”

I absolutely love this truth. “If it’s not beautiful yet it’s gonna be.” This is the peace beyond all understanding that every human craves. We want to know with complete certainty that in this moment it may be difficult, but it will eventually work its way into a masterpiece. There’s nothing He can’t do, there’s no problem too big for the Creator of the world! If this doesn’t get you hype, I don’t know what will! The Living, Breathing Word of God screams of such truths,

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'”

~ Hebrews 13:6

For so long, I’ve placed fear on the back burner, telling myself I wasn’t a scared person. The reality of my predicament was that I was so afraid of feeling fear, I completely missed out on the opportunity to be healed by the Ultimate Peace-Giver. I thought I was walking in accordance with His will when I blew fear off, but I was actually running further away from the source of restoration, the only One who can heal that wound once and for all.

Here’s how you apply this:

Don’t be afraid to be afraid. The feelings of the flesh can hurt, the situations you’re placed in can stop you dead in your tracks. You may feel like you’re unable to breathe, to move, to speak. Fear will come eventually, no matter how strong. It’s inevitable. Knowing that the true source of protection comes from Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the only way to confront that awful feeling. Allowing fear to linger behind you will only send you, “two steps forward and one step back” in your relationship with Christ.

Fear wants you to think it will steal your happy ending. It wants you to feel hopeless, unable to continue in such a paralyzing state. Jesus came to take the fears of this world, to give us a hope and a future. My hope is in the One who has already promised me eternal life with Him, what is there to be afraid of? Don’t run away from the very thing Jesus willingly wants to take from us.

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