Have you ever stepped into a rushing river? Maybe you didn’t step, maybe you just stood on the shore and watched as the waters moved swiftly before you.
Just a bit of personal information here…. I don’t swim. Seriously, my swimming skills are terribly lacking and I am consumed by fear when I am near water. I have intentionally kept my children in and near water simply because I don’t want them to ever experience the fear I have. If you have ever been with me on a hike as we approach a make shift bridge, my hesitation is not over height but by the rushing waters below.
I was raised in the Pacific Northwest and have seen the power of the mighty rivers rushing in front of me. I’ve seen them carry mighty freight barges in the Columbia River. I’ve seen the brave adrenaline junkies ride their waves in the midst of high winds as it rushes through a gorge. I’ve waited my feet in a pool of clear water before it plummeted hundreds of feet off the end of a steep cliff. I’ve enjoyed the bounty of trout cooked over a campfire. I’ve spent afternoons in the warmth of the sun, wasting away hours floating along a river’s current.
Fear is a thief. If I stood at the edge of the river and chose to never experience all that it gives, I would allow this fear to steal from me a lifetime of joyful experiences and memories.
Ok, I know a little fear is healthy. The kind of fear that teaches us respect and understanding of our own limitations. Don’t worry, I won’t be swimming the English Channel just to prove I’ve overcome my fear. I still have wisdom and wits about me to know that wouldn’t be a great memory or experience.
Fear is a liar. My fear has told me more times than I can count that something is going to harm me. Have you every been surprised when you have finally walked across a bridge or climbed a cliff? Maybe when you finally find the courage to have that difficult conversation? Was it really as terrible as you had imagined it would be?
I’m in a current situation in my life where I truly feel like God is asking me to walk out into the water. He wants me to walk out and wait. Wait for HIS Promise. His Truth. His Overcoming. His Power. It’s coming.
I can imagine in my mind the strength of the current against me. I can almost imagine it pushing me over and causing me to drown. I picture the water rising deep around me with no escape. No matter the direction I turn, the shoreline is out of reach.
But Fear is a liar. And Fear is a thief. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Overcoming fear takes an incredible amount of courage and strength. Sometimes it may even feel like you need an army to go with you.
Every time I have had to overcome my fear of water I trusted the people around me to lead and guide. I trusted their abilities. I trusted their experience. I trusted my friends and my community.
Here is the incredible thing. God has given you an army. Our greatest weapon is the Body of Christ. In it, we have the army we need to overcome the fears that lie to us and the fears that steal life from us.
I stand on this shoreline prepared to take an incredible step in faith. I am guarded and protected in prayer. I am following those that have gone before me. I am comforted by those that love me. I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb. I will experience the fullness God has prepared for me. I will keep my eyes on Him and know that even when the current presses against me, my God has overcome.
Wherever you are standing today, when you are staring fear in the face, don’t back down. Stand firm, God has a promise for you. Find your Christian brothers and sisters, join community, go to church. Talk about it. Pray about it. Seek the wisdom of those that have gone before you. And then, you will have guarded yourself from the liar and the thief. You will be equipped with strength and courage. You will have the confidence to know you are an overcomer.