I witnessed true courage in the form of a slightly built, white-blond, 8-year old this morning. She stood at the top of a 4-foot mat, preparing to jump to the high bar during gymnastics practice. She was not alone in her fear of leaping off that mat. Others shared her fear, but for Lacie, the fear is not of new, unlearned skills, but of vision.
Lacie has no depth perception. She canâ€™t determine where the bar is, so when she leaps, it is in absolute faith that the bar will be exactly where her coach tells her it is. Sometimes tear slip down her cheeks, as she struggles to overcome her fear, but LacieÂ doesn’tÂ give up. She stands there silently working to conquer it, willing herself to jump. Her struggle is evident, but so is her determination. SheÂ doesn’tÂ want to give up. She wants to leap, and when she does, and her hands land securely on the bar, her smile is absolutely radiant.
Itâ€™s the same for us. Fear can either immobilize us or motivate us to trust more fully, more deeply, more honestly in God. Fear is a part of life in this fallen world of ours, but it is also sin. We have a choice about how we respond to our circumstances. We can respond in fear or heed the advice of Scripture:
Â· Be strong and do not fear
Â· Do not fear, for I am with you
Â· Do not worry about tomorrow
Â· Do not worry about your life, what you will eat]
Â· Why do you worry about clothes?
Â· Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Fear accomplishes nothing, except separation from God, for when we fear, we do not trust. But there is a solution. LOVE. Godâ€™s love. Godâ€™s holy, perfect, unearned, undeserved, never-failing love is the antidote to fear. First John 4:18 says, â€śThere is no fear in love. But perfect love drive out fear.â€ť Godâ€™s love is our sure, sweet victory over fear, conquering it completely, and replacing it with His radiant joy and perfect peace.
Father, thank you for Your love â€“ perfect and holy and unearned â€“ for Your love gives us courage to leap for the unseen bar and faith that it will be where you promise it is. Teach us to rely more fully on you each day, to be undaunted by our circumstances no matter what we face, and to remember always that You are God. Radiant joy is possible as we learn to trust You more deeply, more fully, more honestly. May it be so, and may all the glory be Yours! Amen.