Today a friend called. She was struggling with fear and hoped I might have something to say about the subject. Yes, I had something to say. Fear is a monster, brought about by our own false notions. I love what Dr. Henry Cloud has to say about the matter:
“Make sure you scare yourself today by stepping out of your comfort zone somewhere. Life only gets bigger by walking through fear. Fear is a fence.”
Fear is a fence. Does that say it all or what? If allowed, fear rules us. It confines us. Strips us. Stops us. And I believe that is exactly what the enemy of our lives had in mind when he created fear. Fear has this incredible strength to stop us dead in our tracks.
I’ve had a lot of fears in my life. Some were actually quite silly but they stopped me nonetheless from doing or accomplishing various things. I’ll never forget the sage wisdom of a counselor in my life many years ago. My problem concerned a job I was working in at the time. This job, while fulfilling at first, became my nemesis. I allowed it to eat me up inside because I didn’t know how to handle the stress of the job. And after doing it to the very best of my abilities at the time, I wanted a change. But, I didn’t know how to make a change.
I sought out and went to this counselor. Saw him exactly one time. I told him the dilemma.
“So what do you want to do about this?” he asked.
“I want to quit the job.”
“And so why don’t you?”
“I’m afraid to. I’m afraid of disappointing my boss and leaving her with the mess of finding someone else to do the job. I’m afraid of disappointing my parents and family because they’ve been so proud of me for my accomplishments in this job. I’m afraid of disappointing my husband,” and my voice dropped off.
He looked at me. “So if you quit your job, what would be the worst thing that could happen?”
“Well, I wouldn’t work there anymore,” I replied.
“And what’s the worst thing that can happen after that?”
“I wouldn’t have the money from working there?” I asked.
“Yes, that’s true. Can you think of anything else?”
“Um, no, that’s pretty much it,” I replied.
“So, if you quit and these things happened, would you die?”
I was shocked by his question. What kind of a nincompoop did he think I was? “No of course I wouldn’t die!” I stated.
“Then what’s the problem?” he asked.
And that was it. The crux of the problem. I was allowing fear and probably a bit of pride to stop me from doing what I wanted to do. Of course the financial ramifications were something that would have to be worked out between me and my husband, but we had already talked it over and I knew we’d get through that part. Fear was stopping me. Fear had indeed fenced me in as Dr. Cloud so eloquently stated.
The reality became clear. Fear was nothing but a thought that I had given permission to mess with me, a notion I wrongfully gave too much power to and it was smothering me. And it was that thought, that lost power of mine that gave the enemy permission to torment me with this job. I’ve never forgotten this lesson in my life.
Remember truth. Fear is a thought. Fear is not from God. God loves me and He wants the very best for me. He says it over and over, in countless ways throughout the Bible. God is for me, not against me. When I allow fear to rule, I’m trapped within the confines of the thought. Frozen, unable to move. Fenced in.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Step over the fence and see what happens. Will you die? More than likely not and you might just find the freedom you’ve been looking for. Brilliant! What’s the worst thing that might happen? Power…to live a life full of all the possibilities!