This post coming on April Fools Day is a bit ironic. A day people are worried, afraid and anxious about pranks at every turn. This is a holiday celebrated around the world. In France they may worry about having a picture of a fish pegged on their back. One might spend the day paranoid that favors requested in Scotland are a fool’s errand. Portuguese culture may leave you fearful of turning a corner and a having flour thrown at you.
What are you afraid of? Is it an April Fools joke? Spiders? Snakes? Lions, tigers, and bears? Or is it something deeper? We spend so much of our lives living in fear of the unknown, a broken heart, being alone, getting hurt, getting lost, never finding our purpose; the list never ends.
But what if I told you that you don’t need to be afraid of the practical jokes or any of the deep fears that feel embedded in our DNA? What if there was something that could tackle anything you may ever be fearful of? What if you didn’t have to live in fear anymore?
‘ But now thus says the Lord , he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.’Isaiah 43:1-2
God tells us not to be afraid 365 times throughout the Bible. We are given this command once for every day of the year as a reminder that He is with you wherever you go, and will carry the weight of your fears if you let Him.
‘The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’Psalms 118:6
I lived in a constant state of fear most of my life. I knew God was trying to pull me in, but after everything I’d suffered, I didn’t want to trust Him. One day about 5 years ago, in one single moment, my fear miraculously melted away in an instant. I was in a terrible and abusive marriage and that day was the breaking point. I remember the sudden rush of impossible courage well up in me, a feeling I had never felt before or really knew I could feel. I snapped. In that instant I traded my fear for perfect love.
‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.1 John 4:18
When my fear was lifted up and I trusted God to provide, He showed up and changed my entire life in ways I never dreamed He would or could. God transformed me from a broken vessel into a strong, faithful, courageous woman. God wrapped my entire life up in pure, unimaginable love. I am still a work in progress, but allowing God to take the fear from me changed my entire life in the best possible ways.
Are there still challenges, struggles, and pain? Of course. That is a fact of life. But I can get through all of it and come out stronger knowing God will always show up when I choose His incredible and perfect love over my human fears.
‘ The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’Psalms 23:1-4