A couple of years ago, I ventured into scary territory. Let me set the scene.
I’m the kind of person who loves kayaking, dance and gardening – not running, lifting or push-ups. So, when I signed up to train at a serious gym, I had serious reservations!
It didn’t help that one of the first people I met resembled and sounded like Ivan Drago, the Russian character Rocky Balboa boxed in Rocky IV. What on earth was I doing in the same gym with this guy?
During intros I quickly confessed that I’d never been in this type of gym and I was scared to death. I made everyone laugh and they quickly encouraged me not to be afraid. Throughout the workout they high-fived me and coached me. I barely survived. When I got into my car, I took a moment to acknowledge that although I was afraid with God’s help, I did it anyway. It was a great feeling.
Courage can be defined as doing it afraid, but doing it anyway. Scripture teaches on fear a lot. Could it be because at its worst, fear paralyzes us from staying on mission?
Fear of failure might keep us from being the person God created us to be. Fear of rejection might keep us from investing in a faith community. Fear of loss might keep us from loving completely.
When we look around this world there are lots of fear-provoking realities.
God understands us and our fears and He equips us to overcome them with scriptures like these:
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I made it through my two-month challenge at that gym. It turns out that with God’s help, I can be more courageous than I ever realized. It would have been easy enough to see “Drago” and RUN! It’s refreshing to be reminded that well… with God’s guidance and strength, I can do hard things. And so can you my friend.
My hope is that this funny and true gym story serves as a helpful visual for you. We all know that the Goliath’s (aka the Drago’s) we face can be incredibly scarier than my example. The good news, is that once we acknowledge the fear (like when I blurted out my fear to everyone in that gym) it loses its power over us. Fear could no longer stop me from doing something that was important to me. With God’s help, and the supportive community around me, I literally summoned strength I didn’t know I had!
God has a mission for each of us to accomplish. What have you not done yet, because fear has prevented you? Or is there a scripture or encouraging story of overcoming fear you’d like to share with our STAR community? Let’s cheer each other on. How amazing is it that we can remind each other of truths found in scripture and literally encourage (deposit courage into) one another?