Many of us are afraid of something.
Are you afraid of....the dark?
Zombies? Vampires? Spiders? Death?
I have fears.
I have a box of fears.
No I don't need a nightlight and I do not like scary movies but I don't mind the odd zombie movie now and then.
I do, however, have several fears that I find difficult to talk about, let alone get over. (Ok, so I may also be freaked out by spiders sometimes, too.)
These fears I cling to are probably pretty familiar to many people.
I keep them hidden, balled-up, tightly packaged in a little box that I hold in my hands.
I can't seem to let them go.
Sometimes I think I've made progress, until I realize I've just let one hand hold my box of fears while the other hand gets on with life.
It's not easy to let go.
You probably want to know what my fears are, right?
I'll tell you.
I fear looking like a fool.
I fear looking childish and not smart.
I fear feeling like I'm left behind.
I fear not being good enough.
I fear that I will try something new and it will feel like failure if I don't do really well at it.
I fear being looked down on.
I fear...always being on the bottom of the heap.
You don't ever fear these things, do you? Nooooo.
Hmmm. Maybe you do.
I was thinking about my box of fear the other day, thinking about how it would feel so refreshing not to feel this way, to just let go and not fear plummeting to last place.
I was thinking that other people must be able to let go of their fears as they try new things, and succeed at whatever they attempt.
Why am I held back by my box of fears?
I even proposed that simple question towards God, why is it so hard for me to let go of my fears? Why am I so afraid of failure?
I didn't expect an answer.
I didn't even expect that my question was fair to ask of God.
I even remembered the verse from Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Then a little voice, small and quiet, pipped up inside of me.
It said, "Don't you get that verse? You can *DO* all things through me....really do them, not just try them. I don't care if you succeed or fail at them, just as long as you get up and *DO* them. You CAN do all things...not you might able able to, or you should try to...you CAN DO it."
I was shocked, taken aback, startled with this revelation.
Does this mean God doesn't care if we succeed or if we fail?
Does it matter who comes in first place and who come is last?
Does it even matter if we stumble and fall and not even finish?
I don't think so.
He'd love us to do well, to feel like we've succeeded yet he also wants us to learn.
He doesn't want us to be on the sidelines with him.
He wants us out there, living life, getting up and doing it.
Not just trying it.
Not sticking our toe into the cold lake and backing off.
He wants us to run and cannon-ball into the freezing water or at least inch our way in until we get used to the cold and can continuing having fun.
We CAN DO all things with him as our supporter.
The other amazing thing is He doesn't care if I am at the top of my skills or at the bottom.
He just wants me to learn every step of the way.
I see now, that he wants me to learn how to be patient, with myself and with others.
He wants me to learn to have confidence in myself and the skills he has given me and the mind he has created in me to learn more and improve on what he gave me.
He wants me to praise those who do well and encourage them to keep going.
He wants me to feel happy running my own race and not compare myself to anyone in the lanes beside me.
He wants me to let go of my box of fears.
He wants to take that box and hand it over to him.
Once I let go, my hands are free...free to learn, improve, encourage, hold others, to DO what he wants me to do and not to be held back.
I'm trying...no, scratch that...I AM giving him my box of fears.
Here it is God.
Take my fears and cheer me on as I learn what it's like to be free and able to DO all things with you as my strength.
What are you afraid of? What do you need to let go of?