When You've Fallen in Fear and You Can't Get Up

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Microwave popcorn, a warm blanket, and a sunken-in sofa rarely leave us feeling embarrassed, anxious, and uncertain. Are you leashed to a couch of complacency?

“The Lord GOD is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].” Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP)

I shoved the training books deep into the closet, making them disappear under a pile of clutter. There. If I can’t see them and others can’t see them, these books have far less power to hurt me. Now no one will be reminded I’m a walking disappointment.

Satisfied, I shut the doors and wiped my hands of the costly, and only partially completed, How to Get Your License real-estate books. My worthlessness was contained.

Ahh, I breathed a sigh of relief. And, like dust swept under a rug, the gnawing fear I’d live constantly floundering in defeat was — Poof! — gone.

Victory!  I declared. Kind of …

There was a problem. Although I try to run from pain and hide my faults, fear knows where to find me. And, just as I expected, within minutes, like nails on a chalkboard, it spoke: Kelly, you won’t amount to anything more than a loser. You’ll never succeed. You’ll always be criticized. You’ll let people down. If you try, people will see you as a fraud, a wanna-be. Certainly, they won’t say it, but you’ll know how they really feel.

My heart sinks, like a lost penny in a worthless wishing well. Will I live forever paralyzed, side-stepping God’s glorious missions for me?

My body trembles at the thought. Frankly, I’m tired of seeing everyone else celebrating grand and glorious winnings on Facebook, while I’m stuck on my sofa digging into a pint of Chunky Monkey while wearing tattered pajamas. Somehow, I missed the memo on courage. This hurts and leaves me to question God.

God, why am I not brave? God, why do I always start and stop? God, why do others look so good, while I fail so bad?

And, most of all, what if I never amount to anything? What if, at the end of my days, I learn I’m the defect? The one person created without significance. What then, God?

So often I see myself leashed to a couch of complacency. Microwave popcorn, a warm blanket and a sunken-in sofa rarely leave a woman feeling embarrassed, anxious and uncertain. I guess it makes sense I can’t easily get up.

But lately I’ve been thinking: What good is short-term comfort if it leaves you with long-term regret? And what is life, if it isn’t lived for Christ? And, what is faith, if not practiced in full?

God, I want more. I want to deeply and whole-heartedly believe Your truth, so I can brazenly and passionately step into Your callings before me.

God hears prayers. He answers mine with today’s key verse: “The Lord GOD is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]” (Habakkuk 3:19).

As I read this verse, I discover six ways God empowers each of us:

1. He gives His strength.

2. He sends out His invisible army to work and fight on our behalf.

3. He steadies our feet, no matter how unsteady the terrain.

4. He makes us walk into His predestined great places.

5. He leads us to high places.

6. He develops spiritual confidence within us.

This is powerful. For our progress is not about us, the weak ones. It is all about Him, the strong One, Who can do all things at all times. When we believe the truth that He is behind us, with us and for us, we access what He wants to do through us. It happens naturally, without striving and agonizing.

It’s seamless when we simply see Him. It’s glory-filled, when we simply follow Him. It’s joy-laden when we realize there are no failures in God’s Kingdom, only loved children. Here we realize we are daughters, women, cared for and protected, forgiven and cherished, emboldened and encouraged.

God, You are our strength. May we fall into Your arms and find rest in You. Bring us to Your high places. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 4:18a, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear …” (ESV)

Psalm 51:6, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” (NASB)

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What fear consumes you? When you apply the key verse to it, how does God prompt you to see it afresh?

How might your life change if you let faith flood this place of fear?

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