It took me a long time to learn how to swim. My parents, not good swimmers themselves, faithfully drove me to swimming lessons every week for many years. They were determined that I would learn to swim. I might be the only person in history to flunk the YMCA swimming classes of tadpole and minnow twice each. The problem was fear. I was absolutely terrified to go under the water and hold my breath. However, something happened to me as I watched a trusted friend swim so effortlessly. That friend dared me to swim, to take a chance. His encouraging invitation made all the difference. Now I swim like a fish.
In the desert, a healthy fear of poisonous snakes or scorpions is good. However, there is a destructive fear that paralyzes us from stepping out and experiencing life in all its fullness. A little part of us dies when we allow fear to win. God knew that fear is a common problem. So, “Do not fear, I will be with you” is the most repeated promise in the Bible.
Are there some places in life where an unhealthy fear might be holding you back?
- Are you holding a grudge? Is it fear of rejection or fear of admitting you are wrong that is holding you back? Ask God to give you the courage to go to that person to forgive them, and to move on.
- Are you stuck in the wrong job but are afraid to look for a job that more fits you? Ask God to help and then prepare a resume and send it out.
- Are you mired in the quicksand of a bad habit or bad finances? Are you afraid to ask someone for help before it further wrecks your life?
The key to conquering our fears is to tell the truth — to admit our fears. Then ask for God’s help. As we face our fears with God’s help, God has promised to renew our strength and our minds, to build our confidence and courage.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. Psalm 118:6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him. He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Pray that God will give you one action step that will move you toward overcoming your fear. Then take that step in faith!