I’d like to tell you a story about a little girl. The little girl had taken swimming lessons for years but did not like them. She wasn’t afraid of swimming, but she was afraid of drowning. Every time she went to swimming lessons she would be gripped with fear. She had panic attacks, she cried and threw fits. She even made herself throw up. As she grew older the fear only seemed to grow. Her mother and her teachers encouraged her, prayed with her, employed tough love, and her mom even shed a few tears of her own, behind closed doors. One day, after a particularly turbulent lesson, on the way home the mom shared that fear was not from God. Satan was the author of chaos who spreads fear and lies and discontent. The mother asked her daughter who she wanted to listen to, Satan or God? The little girl said she wanted to listen to God, but she really didn’t want to do swimming lessons. The next day, the mom and her daughter prayed and rocked some praise music all the way to her lesson. When they arrived at the pool, the little girl got into the water and did all the teacher asked. The teacher, astonished, told the little girl she was proud of her and asked what had happened to bring about the change in attitude about swimming lessons. The little girl responded, “I kicked Satan out of my brain and kicked God in, and now I can swim.” Thereafter the little girl excelled in her lessons, and even went on to swim in her neighborhood’s swim team. God is so, so good.
The moral of the story? Listen to you mother!!! I’m just joking! But really, if your mom offers you Godly counsel, you probably should listen. Y’all, I happen to be the mom in this story. I shared the truth that God shared with me, and my daughter lived out that truth. God is bigger than your fears. You can conquer your fears. You may not want to do the scary thing, but with faith in God, you can do the hard things, the scary things, the seemingly insurmountable things. God is so, so good!
Confession time. I live in an almost constant state of anxiety and fear. I fear bad things happening to those I love. I fear physical discomfort. I fear judgement from others. I fear change. I fear not being enough, as a Christian, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, as a teacher. Why did I give my own daughter such good advice for her life, but fail to live out that same advice? Well, I think it is easier to tell someone a truth you know than it is to live out that same truth. We always try to give good and Godly advice to those we love because we know how worth it they are, and we want to see those we care about live abundantly! We need to take our own advice. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying!
So, when those moments of fear seize me, I try to follow a few simple steps.
1. Pause. Recognize your fear. It is real. Then remind yourself that fear and dread are not from God. 1 John tells us that ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear…’ God’s love is perfect. He lives within me as a Christian. His perfect love can cast out my fear.
2. Ask God to allow you to see the situations through his eyes. I am not trying to minimize anyone’s feelings or the tough situations that inevitably come along, but I have found that when I try to see my problem through a Biblical lens rater than a worldly one, they always seem less daunting.
3. Lastly, Pray for God to be with you.
In Psalm 56:3, David writes, “When I am afraid, I will put my faith and trust in you.” That literally translates from Hebrew to mean “On the day that I am afraid (cry out), I will put my faith and trust in you.” David knew he would face fear. He recognized it, and asked called out to God.
Maybe you don’t have a fear problem, Just know, if you do, you are not alone. And rest assured, while we may never perfectly let go of all fear on this side of Heaven, we can put our faith and trust in God. He is so, so good.