Monday, July 21, 2014

Fear and The Father: The Great Exchange

Last week, I confessed my fear of success, failing, and just about everything else. Doing so was liberating, empowering, and something of which I continue to be proud. For someone struggling with perfectionism, publicly admitting my failings is a huge step in the right direction.

But during a Skypeversation with my Moo Sister Jess, she pointed out that a key portion of my premise could be easily misunderstood. Specifically where I said, "See, God cannot work through fear; He cannot move in the face of anxiety." 

"I think you were trying to express the same thing that I think," she wrote. "but didn't quite get there."

She's right, and I'm so glad she brought this to my attention, lest someone get the wrong idea.

God can work through fear and does move in the face of anxiety. Those Faith Hall of Famers I mentioned last week--David, Moses, and Peter--they were all afraid at some point during their walks with God. As God specializes in doing extraordinary things through ordinary people, He must work through fear and anxiety. Otherwise He'd never get anything done!

But if we hold on to fear and anxiety with both hands, then God cannot take our hand and lead us forward. 

The Great Exchange
Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhots.net
God is a gentleman who gives us free will. Though we are afraid and anxious, though our fears and frustrations seem insurmountable, it is up to us to take the smallest step of faith, to release just enough of our apprehensions to free up a trembling hand that can reach out to God. When we do that, He takes that shaky hand--for He has been right beside us the whole time--and guides us through those shadow-filled valleys and over those rough-terrained plains. He never requires us not to feel fear to have a divine encounter with Him. All He needs is a free hand or even a pinkie, some tiny part of us willing to exchange fear for faith. 

That's what I meant last week when I followed the above statement with "It is time for me to embrace Him and release my future to His care, trusting Him with all of it." It's a moment-to-moment exchange, a decision I must constantly make. But as I focus on who He is instead of what I fear, that decision gets easier. And as I continue to yield, God begins to do the miraculous, the exceeding abundantly above all I could ask or think according to the Power I allow to work through and in me (Ephesians 3:20). 

What a beautiful exchange!

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