**I pulled this post up from the archives and edited it a little, because it seemed the perfect thing to share. Tim and I are heading to India again, and just when I think I've battled down all the "what-ifs", one rears its head again.
If my brain and time allows, I'll share more about our trip before we leave. Will you pray for this trip? Will you please pray for our children while we're gone? And pray that God overcomes mightily in this work. **
I stood up when he called my name because I knew it was a good time to die.
I didn't feel anything particular on my heart, nothing profound to share and no life-altering wisdom to add. I just knew that I needed to be stretched and uncomfortable and that the stage was the perfect place for this death.
My husband had asked me if there was anything I'd like to share with the brothers and sisters before he taught. I stood, the only American woman in the room, and choked out something about encouragement and prayers and a thank you.
And I didn't die. (Sorry for the drama.)
Sometimes I put myself in uncomfortable places. On purpose.
Other times, most of the time, I hide in down comforters of self-protection and fear, because someone might laugh or I might trip over my tongue or forget everything I was going to say.
Or, I could just fail. And that's almost like dying, isn't it?
Fear is a lying enemy when it keeps us from being uncomfortable. Fear is a chain and it's weight is heavy, making us slow to move when the Holy Spirit might be quickening us.
Fear is a comfortable enabler when it keeps us from doing what is scary-but-good.
There are moments when a pounding heart keeps us from speaking, when common sense keeps us from acting. Moments that pass and no one even knows we were cowards, but we know.
When John says that perfect love cast out fear (1 John 4:18), he means the fear of judgement, of death and punishment. He doesn't mean that nothing will ever be scary for us - a safe life is not for the children of God.
There are other moments, longer ones, where fear is defeated over days and months and the years can be tallied up to show you are overcoming. You win the battle over time with a long obedience when you defeat fear day-in-and-day out.
I understand the fear of man all to well. I overcome it sometimes, a momentary bout of fearing less rather than being fearless. When I choose to do it anyway, to do something inspite of fear instead of doing it because of fear, I think I get just a little bit stronger.
But more often than not I give in to fear. I stay safe and comfortable, and I know I don't thwart God's plans but maybe He saddens a little as He, once again, chooses someone else.
That saying, "God won't give you more than you can handle", that's not in the Bible. If I'm only doing the things that I can handle, what a tiny life I'm living. What a bummer that God doesn't have room to be awesome in my safe-and-comfortable life.
If I'm never out-on-a-limb, clinging-for-dear-life, maybe-I'm-crazy scared, I probably don't need God all that much and I'm probably not going to see His mighty hand. Probably not going to need His rescuing or His refuge, because I've got this under control.
Those are all big thoughts for a woman who rarely leaves her home and who doesn't have much to say in real-life-spoken-words.
I'm over my head everyday if I think about it, though.
I homeschool my four children and that's more than I can handle. I aim to disciple these four, knowing how I fail and how much I need discipling myself, and do I really think I can accomplish that on my own?
I introduce my introverted-and-selfish-self to new people because it's hard for me. And that might be easy to someone else, the natural and obvious thing to do. But to me it's huge and I need Him.
I say yes to things that freak me out, like prison evangelism and teaching women in another country. Like writing words that may be laughable or worthy of scorn and then hitting "publish" so the whole world can see them.
Sometimes the best remedy for fear is to say yes before you give yourself time to think about it.
And sometimes I attempt things that really are just my own ideas, my own desires apart from God. Sometimes fear really is your friend and might keep you from making a mistake, but failure is a good learning tool and it's o.k. to do dumb things from time to time. Really.
All my mistakes are up for redemption in His hands.
So what are you doing daily that requires God to show up? What are some big things you've committed to that scare you if you think too long about them?
Fear less. That's the victory.