I believe fear is the one of the most powerful forces in this world. Fear will make us do stuff that we would never think of doing, yet at the same time, fear can make us stop doing things we do every day. Fear can control us, and while it’s in control, we will struggle to see what it is that God wants for us.
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I was on top of my parents house. Not sure why, but I was up there. I can remember it getting dark, and I knew I needed to come down off the house. But as I got closer to the edge of the roof, I began to panic and just sat down right there. My dad came out and told me I needed to come down for dinner. I replied quickly with a “NOPE.” I felt safe while sitting up there, and I knew getting down was the worst idea. Or at least that’s what I let fear tell me. I was convinced that, if I tried to get down, I would seriously injure myself. And I’m not a fan of pain.
A couple of minutes passed, and my dad came back out and tried to convince me that I could just jump down. I told him, “I might die.” He laughed. I cried. At this point, my dad began to bribe me with a trip to the zoo if I got down. That didn’t work. Then, he offered me five dollars. I was still scared, and fear had a clear grasp on me, but the idea of money was intriguing, so I began to stand up. As I stood, my footing slipped. I immediately sat back down, filled with fear. Then my dad got close to the house, reached his arms out and told me to jump to him. I was still scared, but I also started to feel peace, because I knew my dad could catch me. So I jumped, and I got five bucks. I was happy.
Fear often has the ability to help us forget who is in control. I was able to get down from the roof because I trusted that my dad would catch me, and that he was strong enough to do that. Trust and fear are competitors for our focus. Proverbs tells us:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5–6
When you trust God, you will begin to focus on him, and not on fear. He has already laid the plan out and knows what’s going to happen. Why not follow him? God has a calling for each of us, and has planned out amazing lives for us. We can’t let fear distract us from what he wants to do in us and through us. I believe that it’s when we trust him and push past fear that he uses us the most. What’s crazy about trusting to follow God where he tells you to go, is that he is already there.