The paralyzing effect of fear

Author: Jennifer Roberts

Fear is a powerful reality in the hearts of all mankind. I wish I could write in a “preachy” way as to encourage the weaker ones among us. Unfortunately, I am one of the weaker ones in this case. So, if you will allow me the luxury to preach to me in 500 words or less then I’ll begin.

I started out in life pretty fearless as most children do. Fear is healthy in some cases. For example, fear of getting burned keeps you from rolling in a bonfire. I call that wisdom. I remember participating in my elementary school’s talent show every year as a singer. For those of you who don’t know me….I don’t sing. I’m not just being modest I really can’t carry a tune-whatever that means. But I was fearless and maybe a little clueless. When I realized that my voice wasn’t that great I moved into lip-syncing with choreographed dance moves. We were too poor to own a video camera for which I’m grateful. No evidence!

Fear is a subtle enemy that we slowly incorporate into our thinking. I see fear as roadblocks in my interior life that cause me to take a different route that is less challenging or confronting of the status quo in my life.

Well, lately I’ve become a little tired of the roadblocks that I cohabitate with and leave unchecked. My biggest roadblock of fear is the fear of failing. Just when I begin to dream I fear not being able to accomplish that which I want to do. Yuck! What an awful trait to model to my children. “Yeah, my mom sat on the couch and talked a lot about her dreams, but never did any of them”. I want to be fearless. I want to risk failure and take huge risks.

I have been drawing much strength from Psalm 27:1 these days:

The Lord is my light and my salvation:
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life:
Of whom shall I be afraid?

I love this verse. When I get my eyes off myself and my own lack and think about who God is then I can take a deep breath. When I meditate on God who is light. Not just has been light, but currently IS light, MY light. Looking at Jesus makes me feel fearless. My future isn’t dark and scary it’s filled with light. I have an opportunity to trade my weakness, lack of resolve, and brokenness in for HIS strength. I want to surrender and practically let the Lord BE the strength of my life. He alone has all the power and has an unending supply.

So, does this mean I want to do a talent show again? Probably not. But it does mean next time I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to step out in a particular way I won’t let the voice of fear that causes me to shrink back win. I WILL look unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith help me keep running.

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The paralyzing effect of fear


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