They say that insomniacs don’t have a problem with sleeping, they have a problem living. And as I lie awake again at three o’clock in the morning, pondering my life that recently increased in challenge, emotion and difficulty, I cannot disagree.
In the distance, the wheels of a train grind on a track. A whistle blows fiercely yet the train neither draws near nor fades in the distance. The weight of the locomotive sounds so painfully heavy on its tracks and for nearly twenty minutes, I listen as the train whistle blows while the metal wheels agonizingly rotate and squeal in place.
The train is stuck.
Were fear to have a metaphor, this was it for me.
For the last five weeks, my life has been grinding gears in a similar way. I’m desperately wanting to move forward to a place of forgiveness and strength yet find myself stuck instead.
With the distressing end of a significant relationship coupled with a lack of employment, I am completely uncomfortable with my life as it is right now. I’m paralyzed by the uncertainty of ‘what will be’ and leery of moving forward.
Quite simply, fear has me stuck.
If you’ve ever jumped on a trampoline and then tried to jump on the ground, you know how I feel right now. My cement feet, or cemented heart in this case, has me weighed down and has me scared to death. Scared that I won’t find a job, scared that I’ll die alone, scared that I won’t become who God has called me to be.
FEAR IS THE TOOL OF THE DEVIL
Fear wears many disguises, which is why so many of us aren’t able to recognize it when it shows up in our lives. Fear knows us better than we know ourselves and it certainly doesn’t like change — not in the least!
Some of the more common disguises fear wears, other than straight out panic attacks when we’re lacking control, are feelings of failure, uncertainty and feelings of not being successful.
I’ve fallen prey to all of these as of late. Yet I know that fear and change are ALWAYS going to walk hand in hand. So, if I’m ever going to get ‘unstuck’ and move out of this place of fear, I need to acknowledge this truth, recognize that fear is the tool of the Devil, and move forward.
I also realize that this is less an issue of fear from me than it is an issue of control. Control is a way for any of us to play it safe when truthfully it has nothing to do with safety at all. Control is all about protecting ourselves from failure.
MY INCONGRUENT FAITH
As a Christian, when I allow fear to seep into my soul and prevent me from living a life of freedom and joy, I demonstrate an incongruent faith and essentially let the Devil win.
After all, I know that God can override my feelings of insecurity. He can override what I think I’m lacking. He can override all my worries and fear if I simply choose to act with faith.
FEAR IS EASY. FAITH IS HARD.
God did not put any of us here on this planet to be average, addicted, fearful or overcome. He put us here to be victorious, free and significant. When you believe in Him, you tap into the most powerful force in the universe.
So, in moments of fear, we have two choices:
We can either Forget Everything And Run, like those scared of commitment are prone to do, or we can Face Everything And Rise by putting our faith in Him and moving forward.
We have to make a decision right here an now to either stand still in fear or move with God. But remember, fear is easy but faith? –it’s the faith that is hard.
STEPPING OUT IN SPITE OF FEAR
According to 1 John 4:18, fear brings torment and we surely can’t enjoy life and be tormented at the same time. In fact, many people never fulfill the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to move forward, they listen to the lies of the Devil and stand still instead. Talk about heartbreaking!
What about you? Is there something that you are afraid of? Are there areas of your life that are being stifled because of fear? I encourage you to take an inventory in the fear department like I’ve been doing and see if anything is revealed.
Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you. I believe God works gently with us to remove the chains that bind and bring us into liberty. If you’ve been afraid of something and desire to be free, the time will eventually come when you’ll have to face your fear and not run away from it.
FACE YOUR FEAR
Just take Jesus’ hand, acknowledge that He is with you, and do it. As terrified as I am with my current circumstances, I KNOW WITHOUT QUESTION that God is in the darkness with me and He’ll be there for you too, but you’ll have to choose whether to go through it or run away.
I have no idea what the weeks and months ahead have in store for me. But I do know that I can no longer stand still in terror. I am taking His hand and going forward because I know that fear torments and God wants to deliver me from all of my fears.
My prayer is that we can each meet our fears with faith and intersect our doubts with courage. After all, the promise of John 16:33 is this, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world!” Amen to that.
Push through your fears today and find your faith!