Fear. We try to avoid it…and we try to run from it. But, fear always seems to be right around the corner. Every time we try to do something new…there is fear. Every time we try to go against the grain and oppose the status quo…there is fear. Fear is pitched in many of our minds as the enemy.
In fact, just the other day my wife was reprimanded by a friend of a friend for having some level of fear about starting a new church. According to this person, fear is something that should not exist. Maybe I am just a little different. Maybe I think about things differently…but I think fear is something that is important…and needed.
Yesterday evening I took the kids outside to play on the slip-n-slide. The problem is that Maggie does not like the water to squirt her in the face. She likes the level of water spray to be low enough to eliminate the danger of getting water in her eyes. In fact…at one point she even had me turn the water all the way off so she could slide without fear. The problem? Well…as you can see…when there is no water…there is no sliding.
You see…Maggie eliminated her fear. She just took it completely out of the equation. The element that she feared was no longer a present reality. However, because the fear was gone, so was the ability to make progress.
We do this all the time. We convince ourselves that if we get rid of fear…our lives will be better because we have convinced ourselves that fear = failure. When, in reality, fear = success. The failure comes when we allow fear to cripple us and keep us from doing what God has called us to do. It is in the presence of fear that we begin to see God really work in our lives as we overcome, power through, and defeat the fear in our lives. Fear gives us traction in our lives with Christ. It helps us advance as we see Christ work in us and through us. The elimination of fear is the elimination of progress.
So, rather than considering the presence of fear as a failure, maybe we should consider the presence of fear as a success…or future success.
What are your thoughts? How has fear played an important role in growing your relationship with Christ?