On Fear, Faith and Life Abundant

I know one thing for certain.  In a life that is normally grounded by faith, there are potholes of fear that can creep up and threaten to swallow you whole.

A year ago we packed our life as we knew it into one massive moving truck and left the city, house and job we had known for eight years and drove toward the unknown.  When the preceding days of exhausting packing were finally at a close and the sound of that big heavy steel door on the back of the truck slammed closed, fear wrapped its icy fingers around me and there were whispers of uncertainty.  I will never forget driving from our house that day, moving truck full, toward the interstate.  It was a profound, defining moment in my life because sometimes you don’t know whether your faith is really stronger than your fears until everything you own in the world is in one big truck and you are headed 55 miles per hour toward a place that no one else has traveled. 

Have you been on that road?  Where faith meets ugly potholes of fear?

 When Moses led the Isrealites out of slavery in Egypt and the Pharaoh’s army was in hot pursuit, God parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could escape to safety and Pharaoh’s army would be drowned.  We all know the story, right?  I always assumed it must have been easy for the Israelites to see God’s awesome power right before them and cross the parted sea. But after closer reflection, I am here to tell you that if I had been one of those Israelites, I would have taken one look at rushing water the size of mountains on either side of me and probably had a panic attack and then thrown up on the beach.  

My mind would have been racing like this: “Is it really God who is parting the water?  Because it could just be some freak event of nature.”

Did God really call me as one of His chosen people?  Because maybe I heard Him wrong.  I’m not special and I’m definitely not brave.  Maybe He parted the water for all of these other people, but not for me.”

“Slavery in Egypt was certainly not the promised land, but at least it was familiar and right now familiar sounds better than fear and possible death.”

This past year since our big move, I believe God has shown me that fear is as old as time and that He is as present and real to me today as He was on the shores of the Red Sea thousands of years before me.  It is easy to doubt God’s promises to us-the promise of a hope and a future.

You may think that it would be much easier if an ocean parted before you, but if you had been on the beach that day, wouldn’t you too have been filled with fear and doubt?  And are you really very sure that God hasn’t already parted an ocean for you in the here and now?  Are you trapped on the beach by your own doubt?

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Seek God with all your heart and all your might.  And when you see Him before you, don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.  Certainly don’t let the world cheat you out of what is rightly yours.

Seek God through his Word every day, so that you know his map for you and his letter of love.  Hide those promises in your heart and don’t let yourself or the world convince you that those promises are for everyone else, but not you.

Don’t settle for less than the abundant life that Jesus came to give you. {John 10:10} Keep seeking it every. single. day.  Don’t let the comfort of the familiar deny you your royal birth right.

And know that I am right here with you.  On the beach.  Shutting out doubt and fear and putting one toe in the water at a time.

Will you walk with me? 

The abundant life is waiting for us.

15 Comments

  1. Yes, I understand, and from a similar situation of choosing freedom from the slavery of debt, but finding the road there is through a wilderness (my fears, doubts, selfishness, materialism, discontent). It was convenience and comfort in the old way of living that I thought was a sign that I was a content person of faith.

    Knowing God knows we are frail helps me! Knowing he knows I love pretty surroundings helps. Hoping that this pruning is making me who he wants.

    Yes, I’m walking with you.

  2. Thank you for this. It is so beautifully written. Fear has grappled me lately–I’m climbing through it, and holding tight to the promises that are his.

  3. A-maze-ing!! I thought I was the only one to look a miracle in the face & still doubt! I needed this this afternoon thankyou.

  4. Thank you for this. My husband and I are about to move from the city we LOVE across the country to a small town. I’ve been struggling with the fear/anger of this move, even though I know it’s what we are supposed to do. You are such a wonderful writer. Thank you for your words.

  5. Thank you, Erin! I needed this post today. Lately I’ve been waffling back and forth between faith and fear in one particular area. I’ll be doing so great and then doubt begins to take hold again.

    I heard recently while watching an interview, someone say this, “You can’t have faith and fear at the same time”. How true! We need to choose one or the other. It’s not always easy but we serve a big God and I’m choosing faith! :)

  6. Erin,

    I love this! All of this is fresh in my heart having just moved from CA to TN.

    • Thanks, carolyn. I have been following your journey and am so happy for you and your family.

  7. REally needed to read this today. I get so much from what you write. I am older than you, and my kids are almost out of the “nest”, but I can so relate to everything you say/write.

  8. I absolutely am embarrassed to admit that I would also have been on the shore, finger to chin, wondering anxiously about those mountains of water standing a LITTLE too nearby. Some kind and more impulsive (or faith-filled) soul would’ve needed to give me a shove to get me started, I think. That’s what friends are for, though, right?

    :0)

    s

  9. Thank you for your words of wisdom!!! I REALLY needed it. Our family is going through a BIG change and FEAR is a huge feeling right now for us all. It’s tough but humbling to admit that we can not bare our burdens alone. It is comforting to know that the Lord is always by our side to help us lighten our load. I have never been one to doubt a miracle. I have always been one who clings to hope. Without hope there is no future. May your light shine brightly even in the dark. Take care..

  10. I know you wrote this over a year ago but I just came back to it because we have just sold and moved our young family (children 2 and 6) from our home of 9 1/2 years. I struggle with doubt and fear right now as I sit in our new house, late at night, that still does not feel like home. We returned to our other home for a few things and it was empty, which felt both strange and also made me teary. I left with questions of whether or not we did the right thing (the home was fine! We just sought more outdoor space and additional indoor space for a playroom). I had a flood of memories as I walked through each room. Memories that I hope remain with us although we have moved out. Our children’s earliest years were in this home and I also want them to remember as well; it was such a special home! Anyways, as we left what was familiar and headed to our “project” which has so much promise but feels overhwelming and NOT like home right now, I felt my heart hurt and asked my husband if we made a mistake. I guess it’s just hard!

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