Monday, November 16, 2015

What are you afraid of?

Yesterday the blog post you find below showed up in my Facebook Memories. The picture definitely took me back, but the message was one I needed as well. Friend, flipping on the news can make us fearful, thinking about the future may leave you afraid and wondering about tomorrow may lead to anxiety, but it's important to remember who we need to fear. May these words serve as a reminder!

The other day I opened the door to our suburban to find this - 

Job, my husband, who I do love, has a sense of humor I don't always appreciate!! I'll admit I screamed and jumped about 3 steps back. Thankfully, nobody was around to see my reaction. Once I caught my breath and moved past the angry thoughts towards Job, I thought, 'Jill, what are you afraid of?'

This coon, that had made my heart skip a beat, was dead. There was absolutely nothing it could do to me, but for a few minutes it kept me from doing what I needed to do. My fear messed with me so much I even resorted to calling my husband and asking, "What am I supposed to do now?" He stated the obvious, I did it and then I moved on with my day.

Later on as I thought about this, God started speaking to me about other things I am afraid of - like failing and letting people down. He also brought up my fear of man and worries about the future. He didn't stop there, He went on to liken them to the coon. These fears can also stop me in my tracks, make my heart race and keep me from the plans God has for me.

Being afraid of a dead raccoon really is ridiculous, but friend it's just as crazy to fear man and failure. An animal that is no longer living truly is not a threat. Though it can't harm me, I'm not saying it won't scare me. I may be scared of failure or letting others down, but I can't let that fear paralyze me and keep me from doing what I need to do.

I've been spending some time studying Ezekiel, the man I really only knew for the dry bones story, but I'm grateful for all God's been teaching me through him. He is a man who was being sent by God to his own people, ones who were rebellious and ones God said would not listen to him. Doesn't that sound like a fun assignment?!?! (If you're a mom, perhaps it's one you can relate to?!?)

Personally, I would have been afraid! And honestly, I think Ezekiel was too. Why else would God say these words in verse 6, "And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people." Three times God told him, "Do not be afraid."

Oh friend, God has told me the same thing too many times to count! And often times even though God says that, I can still be afraid. When I read on in Ezekiel I appreciated knowing I was not alone; verse 14 tells us he went on in anger and bitterness. He really didn't want to do it. But more important than our shared feelings is the simple fact that Ezekiel went. He was afraid, but yet he obeyed. 

His obedience trumped his feelings. I hate to admit I sometimes allow the opposite to happen in my life. My feelings, especially those of fear and doubt, can keep me from doing what God asks me to do. How about you?

But the good news is God is a loving Father who teaches us and gives us another chance! The next time He asks you to obey, even if you're afraid, remember you're not alone and our fears can't hurt us, but disobedience does have consequences. 

I didn't want to remove the raccoon from our vehicle, but I did it anyway. I really didn't have any other choice. And friend, I pray you and I will walk in obedience in a similar way.  When we're afraid, when obeying is hard and even when it makes no sense, I'm asking God to help us do it anyway!

Something to think about - When is a time fear paralyzed you? Can you share an example of when you obeyed even though you were afraid? How does reflecting on this impact you?

A great song that speaks to this very idea is "Do it Afraid" by Elizabeth South. Listen to it here - 


  1. You know, Jill, one of my greatest steps of obedience through fear was being a Mom. I thought I had it all figured out until I had my first child. I quickly learned otherwise. But God asked me to have another. And another ... and lots more than I ever dreamed! I was scared!! But by His grace and in His strength, I followed Him. And now, wow, what I would have missed! Thank you for this post and the charge to follow even when we don't feel it.

    1. Katy, thanks for stopping by! I can totally relate to the fear of being a Mom! And God led me to take that scary step 5 times and now as our oldest becomes a teen new fears step in. As God leads me to take another scary step, I'm reminded when we do it afraid it's more about growing closer to Christ than the task He's calling us to. Thanks for the reminder of what we miss when we don't walk in obedience!! He does bless when we obey!!