All my life I’ve dealt with fear. I doubt I’m alone in that. Sometimes the fear is a whisper I can ignore. Sometimes it’s a little more loud and insistent. Those are the times I might make excuses to not do something that I should, or I can pray through the feeling and take the step I need to. Other times, the fear becomes paralyzing. To the point that it has shaped certain parts of my life, sad as it is to admit it.
Example: Deep down, I crave exploration and adventure, but I’m terrified of driving unknown roads. I frequently have nightmares of becoming lost in traffic, on strange twisting overpasses as night. I’m always the one driving, and I have no idea how to get to my destination. There are probably all kinds of psychoanalyses that can be gleaned from that, but it translates into a real terror in the waking world. It has prevented me from embarking on so many explorations of writing groups, art gatherings, and other things that might enrich my life. But more importantly, how am I to broaden my mission-field from behind a closed door?
This fearfulness has come up many times during my adult life, mainly because it doesn’t just affect me. And last week it reared its head again. Not in any dramatic fashion, but in a way that caused me to feel inadequate, even in the most basic, practical things of living life. That’s when I realized how silent and pervasive and evil this spirit of fear is. At the heart of it, this spirit of fear shows me where my faith is weakest.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
So, while I hate the fear living inside me, it also drives me to rely on God. Sometimes the fear is so near the surface that I cannot leave my house without first giving that fear to him and fiercely claiming this promise for myself. Then I climb into my car, turn on the radio, and hear songs like “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel Music: