Don’t Be Afraid

When my boys were little, they used to love dressing up as super heroes. Spiderman, Batman, Buzz Lightyear, Nacho Libre were the most popular in our family. (Okay, maybe Nacho’s a stretch for a super hero, but you know what I mean.)

As a young girl, my super hero of choice was the Bionic woman. I used to dream of all the things I could accomplish if only I had her lightning speed and impeccable hearing.

Wouldn’t it be great to be a superhero? To be able to accomplish great feats, rescue helpless people, defeat bad guys and stare down the face of evil without a single ounce of fear?

But, I’m not a superhero. Neither are you (no offense). None of us are. I will never have spidey strength, or cool Batman gadgets. I’ll never be able to run like the Bionic Woman or fly like Superman.

I’m just a regular, ordinary person with regular, ordinary abilities. *Sigh.*

However, God desires to use our lives to do heroic things. God willingly takes our ordinary lives and, as we surrender to Him and step out in faith, He meets us. The natural clashes with the supernatural and what seems impossible begins to take shape. What seems hopeless, begins to glimmer with life once again.

But that’s scary, isn’t it?

Stepping into unknown, unfamiliar territory with no guarantee of success. No assurance as to how the story will unfold. No control. No risk management study. No rainy day fund?!

One of my most difficult struggles has been learning to overcome fear. I’ve come a long way, but still have so…

much…

farther…

to…

go.

I don’t want fear to paralyze me and keep me ineffective. Instead, I want to learn how to stand strong in the face of it.

I want to confidently and consistently live out this scripture in Psalm 56,

when-i-am-afraid-i-will-put-my-trust-in-you-psalm-56_3

God has given us every reason to believe His promises and stand strong in the face of fear. Throughout the Scriptures, we see that wherever there is an impossible situation, God shows up in an amazing way.

One of my favorite examples of this is found in Mark 5 when a man approaches Jesus desperately needing healing for his sick daughter who is near death.

He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” Mark 5:23

While we hopefully haven’t faced the extreme despair and agonizing this man was experiencing, we can all relate to the very painful, fearful, real-life situations that create stress and instability in our life.

The lab results.

The job loss.

The relational conflict.

The financial lack.

Jesus encourages his people, “don’t be afraid.

You don’t have to choose the route of fear. There is a greater power available to you – the way of faith and trust. It doesn’t mean everything will work out the way we want it to…

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Mark 5:35

Why bother? Tempted to give up, encouraged to lose hope, this man had a choice to make. He could choose to make this moment his ending or He could walk with Jesus just a little further and trust God to continue writing His story…

God may lead us to dead ends, and He doesn’t always resolve the tension. He brings us to a place where we must completely rely on him and step out of our comfort zone into the unknown.

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36

If we were to write our own story, most likely we would choose to avoid the pain and discomfort. We’d go straight from asking Jesus for healing to receiving it. Why the need for the emotional, painful, long walk through the suffering and uncertainty?

Jesus invites us to walk with Him through the pain and respond in a way that gives God greater access to our life so He can work His greater plan. A path that allows God’s power to work in our normal, messy life.

A road that points people, not to the greatness of our human strength and ability, but to the supernatural, amazing power of God.

And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and totally amazed. Mark 5:42 NLT

 

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