So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Last week, I began a long story that holds many treasures. You can read Part 1 here. Now…for the return walk. How was I going to pass through this same fearful spot to get back to my condo?
What I haven’t told you is my husband had this experience about 5 years ago. I had watched him sink in this same spot. Every walk I had taken since then, held the knowledge that this was possible. Even with that etched into my memory, I had chosen to continue walking knowing that if it happened to me, there would be a way out. The other option would have been to let fear win, keeping me from enjoying many walks on the beach.
As I continued walking and processing, my thoughts were super focused on the how. After meandering around the pier, I finally turned to make the return trip. I passed many cheerful walkers and assumed that they had made it through with no difficulty. Self-talk was boosting my confidence and taking hold of God’s hand, I knew the next lesson was all about fear.
Fear will paralyze you and interfere with much adventure in life. It brought back memories of the years I struggled through panic attacks. I was well acquainted with fear knocking on my door telling me everything I should not or could not do. I was conversing with the Lord about fear on this morning and felt that I needed to pass through the waters instead of finding a detour around it.
You see, I not only wanted this for me; I wanted it for you. I wanted to write about fear from a real fear story. It is one thing to have the positive encouraging words for others, but it is totally different when you have been there and done that.
This sinkhole called fear is where the waters meet. Fear swirls and twirls and creates a force that will pull you down; but right there at the edge of the water is the entrance into the majestic, powerful, overwhelming ocean of God’s love and power.
Fear is a living death that steals our destiny.
The power of God within to overcome fear is more powerful than the mighty ocean.
Fear will keep you from making the phone call. Taking the walk. Joining the class. Speaking out. Filling out the application. Volunteering. Connecting. Changing jobs. Writing a blog. The list goes on and on forever.
This enemy called fear lurks to take you down. I used the adrenalin produced within my body, which enabled me to climb out. There is a power within every Christian called resurrection power that enables us to overcome fear. It is not the strengthening of muscles, boosting self-confidence or self-talk that will get you through the sinkhole. It is the power of the Holy Spirit enabling you to do what you cannot do on your own.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 1:19-20
Hesitating at the edge of the little swirling river, I stood in fear, but determined to face it. I considered asking the young guy setting up umbrellas to watch me cross over, but I giggled at the picture of this thin little 18 year old boy pulling me from the sinking sand. I considered making my way up to the street to bypass it completely, but that held another set of fear possibilities. Which would I do?
Like many other times in life, I chose to face fear and do it afraid. I did it knowing that bad things really can happen, but God is in control of everything.
As the man walking my way came closer and closer, I knew I was to watch him and follow. When he was about eight steps into the stream, I was filled with courage to quickly follow him. With my heart racing, I made quick deep steps placing my foot directly into his footprint. I was doing some serious praying. You know the kind. “Help me Jesus. Help me Jesus. You’ve got me. I trust you Jesus. Phew, we did it. “
I crossed through by following someone else who had no fear. As my feet were swallowed up into the man’s big footprints, so was my fear swallowed up in God’s amazing power. I passed through the waters; they did not overtake me nor did the fear win. My weakness and fear met with someone else’s strength and faith. It mimicked the mingling of salt and fresh water creating powerful movement and beauty.
Fear will keep you from trusting other people and letting someone else help you. Fear will puff you up with pride convincing you that you don’t need anyone else. Fear will explode you in anger and torment.
It is all a lie!
His mighty power will release you and set you free!
I was filled with relief and much emotion as I finished the walk. The Lord sent a stranger to lead me across without his ever knowing. Sometimes you just have to do it afraid and trust whom God puts in front of you.
But other times, you are the stranger that someone else is watching. As they see you do the faith walk, courage rises within them and they actually place their foot right inside of your footprint.
Let’s go face some fears.
Let’s shut up the enemy’s lying voice!
Let’s fulfill our destiny!
Let’s go make some footprints in the sand!