Does this sound familiar? If not, you may want to skip the rest of this post.
Like you, the real me is more than fear. There are other qualities that I hope I’ve grown and matured in over the years. I hope I reflect more of Jesus’ character. I would like to think that my life displays the fruit of God’s Spirit (however imperfectly).
Yet, I sometimes spend too much time with fear and worry. These can be middle of the night visitors that keep me awake as they remind me of the bad things that could happen in my life.
A few weeks ago I was in conversation with a friend of mine who preaches for a very large community church. He has served this church for many years. He is handsome, articulate, and has numerous gifts. Yet, at one point in the conversation, he made the following comment regarding my ministry and role at Harding School of Theology.
“Jim, I don’t see how you do this work. Wow. I would have a lot of fear about doing something like this.”
I said to him, “Listen, I do have fear. I sometimes wrestle with fear. But I am trying to move ahead in my life and ministry in spite of any fear I might have.”
He then said, “Ok, I get that! I feel better. You have fear but you are stepping into the fear instead of going the other way.”
What about you? Are you like my friend and me?
What has been helpful to me:
1. I know that God is with me. Over and over in Scripture God reminds us that he is with us.
2. I try to remember that God’s presence can give me confidence and energy. Worry can leave me immobile and stuck.
3. I want to step into my fear instead of allowing it to dictate what I do or don’t do. God’s presence gives me the confidence to do this.
What helps you most when you spend too much time with fear and worry?