Fear Not


What’s holding you back from accomplishing the goals God has set in front of you? Are you going to choose to trust Him?

A few years ago, after hearing a talk by author Donald Miller, I decided to make a list of all my goals for the year accompanied by a list of all my fears. It has become an annual tradition that keeps me focused; it’s an intentional time to reflect on where I’m going and what roadblocks stand in my way.

My fear list hasn’t changed much. And, to some degree, I accept this fact. For instance, my lack of swimming prowess leads to a mild trepidation each time I encounter deep water.  I can’t swim, deep water scares me, it stays on the list. I’m okay with that.

Other items I would just as soon eliminate. This category includes – but is not limited to – my fears of rejection, failure, and falling down steep stairs (some because they paralyze me from taking positive action, others simply because they may, perhaps, teeter on the verge of irrational).

Throughout the year I make it a point to recheck my lists frequently to keep tabs on my progress. Sometimes I recognize a specific fear encroaching on a specific goal. It’s not always obvious, since I’m good at masking my fears (I would guess you are, too). But on a good day, if I’m feeling particularly brave, instead of cowering behind my fear, I say a prayer and repeat Isaiah 43:1b-2 to myself:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

Fear not. I’m His. He knows my name. He used it to summon me. To summon me. There’s going to be pressure, and there’s going to be storms. I’ll probably get soaked. I’ll definitely sweat. But I won’t crack. He’s with me. It’s okay.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t purge the fear (hence the ominously repetitive list), but about half the time it does keep it at bay while I forge ahead – following God through whatever circumstances He sees fit.

The other half of the time I forget to completely trust God and end up slinking back into the dark shadow of my fear. That’s not exactly a passing grade, but I’m working on it because God’s Word is clear: Fear not…you are mine.

So what are you afraid of today? What shadow are you hiding in? What’s holding you back from accomplishing the goals God has set in front of you? Are you going to choose to trust Him?


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