When Fear Isn’t Real

My daughter fell on some rough concrete yesterday and scraped her arm up pretty good. Once we got her settled down, she immediately started telling me all the things she didn’t want to do.

I don’t want to take a shower, it’ll burn.

Please don’t put anything on it, it’ll hurt.

Help me take my clothes off, I can’t do it.

All day today, she babied it. She wouldn’t let it hang down, she cradled it to her side. She wouldn’t use it at all and she didn’t let anything touch it.

I would ask her to do things, and she would say, “I can’t Mama. It will make my arm hurt.”

But there was one point we got in a hurry and she got her mind off her arm and on to what I told her to do. And guess what? She did it effortlessly. She looked at me, amazed, and said, “Hey, Mama, that didn’t hurt at all!”

Don’t get me wrong. The pain was real. I know it hurt. It looked like it did. And maybe for a little while, it would hurt to do a few things. But she let the fear of what she thought would hurt, stop her from doing anything at all.

We as Christians do the same thing. We get hurt. And the pain is very, very real. Sometimes, it takes our breath away. We can’t stop the gut-wrenching sobs that come. Sometimes, it cripples us. It drives us to our knees. It drives us to our Heavenly Father. But He holds us. He calms us. He tells us it’s going to be ok. There comes a time, though, when the pain subsides but fear remains.

The fear that we can’t go on. The fear that it’s going to hurt more if we do. The fear that we will never heal.

What has fear caused us not to do?

Fear of failure. Fear of upsetting someone. Fear of making the wrong decision. Fear of the unknown. Fear that there will be more pain.

We miss out on so much because of fear. What is God asking us to do, and we keep telling Him, “No please, Lord. It will hurt so bad.”

God says a lot about fear in His word. Because we are human and He knows it will come. But over and over, He asks us to trust. He tells us we CAN trust.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

You know, my daughter didn’t use her arm for so long, that her hand started hurting. She’d held it in such an unnatural position that her fingers got tight. And she had to work the soreness out from disuse.

Pain will always hurt. And taking that first step past the hurt might bring more pain. But I don’t want to be held back so much by fear that God has to cause me even more pain because I’ve waited so long to move.

Sometimes, we don’t even have to take a step of faith. Every pain that we encounter along our journey produces a stepping stone that is held in place by God’s faithfulness. So really, we need to step out not on faith, but on God’s faithfulness.

Because then, even if our faith fails us, God’s faithfulness never will.

And usually, once we start moving again, we’ll find that the fear was completely unfounded. Maybe that it wasn’t even real at all.

Enjoy this song today, and let the truth remind us that even what we don’t know, God understands. We do not have to live in fear.

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