One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that fear grows in dark places deep within when I’m not paying attention. I particularly find this in the context of relationships. The husband and I have a rough day and I turn suddenly I’m on the bridge of the Enterprise yelling “Shields up! Prepare for battle! I’ll take the conn!” A small offense turns into an insurmountable obstacle and I fight hard to control every detail and make it all work out the way I see fit. I’m sure you can see that there are obvious flaws in this strategy. I do this out of fear. I’ve been hurt before and rather and than take the risk of being hurt again, I grab the guns and dig in.
Thankfully, there is grace that comes along and shines a little light on it, revealing to me the reality of this monstrous thing that’s been choking me slowly. I read a quote from Francis Frangipane this week that explains it perfectly. “We pray, “Lord, change me.” To answer that prayer, He will often allow circumstances or people to offend us. Our fleshly reaction illuminates the specific area where we need to grow. Thus, the Lord initiates change by offending the area of our soul He seeks to transform. He does not expect us to merely survive this adversity but become Christlike in it.”
The truth is that fear and self-preservation rarely lead to positive outcomes. True strength is being able to stand in spite of fear and love anyway. True strength is in moving beyond the things that paralyze us and give of ourselves even when it hurts. Meg Cabot said, “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.”
Today I encourage you to live! Take the risk and do that thing that makes you afraid. Go all in! If something offends you, let it go. If you’re hurting, pray. There is a Comforter who is more than able to turn ashes into beauty and He wants to fight that battle for you. He wants you to overcome. March on into the fray armed with His strength and you will find your freedom.
“Oh my soul, march on with strength!” Judges 5:21