Have you ever been stuck to something? Haunted seems so dark and too troubled, but have you ever felt like the weight of something is following you? If you boil it all down, I bet your bottom dollar the culprit would be: fear.
Fear is a shady lady isn’t she? Sometimes she saunters in so carelessly without any hurry that you hardly realize she is there at all. Time may pass and you might be feeling so good, when suddenly in an instant, Fear bares her teeth and you remember all the while why you were afraid.
I’d like to think that I am a person in perfect rest, but I am fearful even still.
I fear watching the ones I love get sick or grow old.
I fear the thought of innocent refugees having no place to call home, no heritage to hold onto, set to sea in dark waters—in an even darker world.
I fear the way Cancer has ripped through, and torn apart the lives of those near me.
That is why I love the story in Matthew 14:26-27, where the disciples are freaking out when they see Jesus walking on the water. I mean these are his closest friends and they are still having a meltdown, but He speaks straight to the heart of it and dismantles their fear by saying: Do not be afraid! I am here! It is I!
If that doesn’t cover everything vital, I don’t know what would? Think about your darkest fears. What if in that moment, God whispered,” It’s me, don’t panic, I am right here!”
How would that change you? How would that wreck your fears?
Stu and I just got back from visiting my parents in Hawaii for Christmas and I caught this picture of Alana and her Daddy in the surf. To those of you reading, it is simply a cool picture of my people having fun in the sun, but to me this is a picture of overcoming fear. Despite both Stu and I being avid lovers of swimming and the ocean…my girl had a hard time with the waves—she was fearful. It took a constant whirlwind of tender love from Mommy, Daddy, Yaya and Papa to get this little seal into the sea.
When I took this photo I was struck by a few things that reminded me so much of how God feels about us as His children:
I love how her Daddy is in the background smiling—he knew how afraid she was, but he also knew that he was close enough to rescue her.
He also knew that when she rode to shore, despite her fears, despite the gritty sand, and the salty sea, that something in her would come alive!
She was just playing and living and FREE!
Isn’t that everything?
Here is the thing though, my friends: our Father is watching and He is smiling, He knows our fear, but He knows that He is close enough to rescue us.
So, walk in that freedom. Spit out that salty water and drink deeply from the well of His love. Let the coarse sand shape you and refuse to let it break away at your spirit. When we walk in freedom our souls come alive.
Fear arises when we imagine that everything depends on us.
Thank God we have hope! Happy New Year, my friends!