Have you ever wondered what life would look like without fear? Think about it. How many opportunities have you missed because you were cowering behind heavily bolted doors? How many friends have gone unmet, experiences untried, and lessons never learned? And yet, in those rare moments when you’ve ventured outside your world of predictability, you’ve found that most of your fears were largely a product of your imagination. Contrary to your ever-nagging thoughts, you didn’t fall on your face the minute you stepped on stage and your computer didn’t crash halfway through your Power Point presentation. Okay, so maybe it did. But you got through it, right? And walking away with egg on your face sure beats swallowing down a life-time full of regrets.
We’ve all got fears, right? It’s part of being human. But as Christians we are called to more. We are called to live life to the fullest, not to tangle ourselves in the safety net. Oh, we say we trust God. And we’ll belt out the chorus to Chris Tomlin’s Our God is Greater loud enough to shake the walls. And yet, the minute we turn the radio off, we’re back to shaking in our boots and hiding in the shadows.
And what does God think of our frequent anxiety attacks? Yeah, sure, He knows we’re human, sinful, all that. But He also knows He’s shown up for us again and again. Remember that bill you didn’t think you’d be able to pay? Remember that friend that popped up out of nowhere? That door that opened at just the right time or the move that initially made your blood boil but later turned out to be a Godsend? (Aren’t we lucky He’s as merciful and patient as He is powerful?)
But then something new pops up, commanding our attention. Like an annoying Jack-in-the-Box set on instant replay. So what do we do? We fight with the box. Shove that bobble-headed clown down. But that doesn’t work, so pretty soon we’re stomping on the thing. With both feet. And in our “fix-it” frenzy, we knock over a few picture frames and send a glass of water spewing across the wood floor.
So now we’ve got a big mess on our hands and that nasty little box is still bobbing up and down. Only now our kids are following along, belting out the carnival music pouring from those speakers you can’t find, in a high-pitched vibrato. We grab the box, and the kids, and shove them in the closet, snapping on the dead-bolts. But that doesn’t help. No matter what we do, the annoying music just won’t let up!
The same is true in our personal lives. We can hit the fear head on, hoping
we can beat it down. Or we can shove it in our closets and pretend like it’s not there. But there’s also a third option. Turn your eyes upward and focus on God. On who He is, not what you want Him to do. Because you know what? You might fall on your face or forget your speech anyway. But if you do, you know there’s a golden lesson in that. A God-moment.
Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, freelance writer, and biblical studies major at Calvary Bible College. In 2009 she won the HACWN writing contest in the book category, and was just recently acknowledged as the second place winner of the 2010 Dixie Kane writing contest. Her latest novel, Breaking Free, (previously known as Impossible Choices) is currently a 2010 Golden Pen finalist. She also reviews for Novel Reviews and is the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles.
She has a short piece appearing in Bethany House’s soon to be released, Love is a Flame book, forwarded by Gary Chapman and another piece scheduled to appear in Cathy Messecar’s A Still and Quiet Soul. She has also written for Granola Bar Devotions, Afictionado, and the Breakthrough Intercessor and has a weekly column on the Reflections in Hindsight website.
She has traveled around the United States speaking at various churches, youth groups, and women’s gatherings. To read more from Jennifer you can find her at