“Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:35-38)
How do you face the future? With worry? Obsessing over details, rutting into doom loops, suffering with white knuckles? Do you find yourself coming to the fearful precipice of the moment, unable to look it square in the eyes, then shrinking back from the courageous path? Those moments can feel we’re ten again, watching a bully beat the tar out of a little kid in our class. We cringe with every blow of bone on flesh, and we know we should step in, know we should say something, do something. A dozen times, our lips part but empty air escapes without words. What if the bully turns on us? What then? Finally, we can’t take it any more.
“Leave him alone!”
The bully stops mid-strike, fists trembling and poised for another hammer blow. His head swivels on a bolt, shocked that we’d summon such stupidity in the face of his obvious strength.
“What did you say?”
Another precipice. We can step back. He’s giving us a chance to swallow our words whole without his knuckles embossing our nose.
This time, words escape. But the wrong ones.”Uh, nothing. Never mind.”
“That’s what I thought.”
The bully is real, you know. The bully isn’t a person, its fear, and it pumps up it’s chest and flashes it’s awful plumage whenever it’s time for us to stand up and be counted.
I almost did that today. I was intimidated by the bully. His eyes. His glare. His threats. I could feel my faith, my self, shrinking. Could feel the temptation to take what was left of my courage and crumple it into a little ball. To throw my confidence away, as the passage warns me not to do.
But then I chose faith. Turned and faced the fear bully. Chose courage. Action. And stepped over the threshold. And the moment I acted, obeyed, fear’s grip… slipped. And it’s like that. Every step I take into the will of God I sense fear’s hold on me diminish, dissolve. Is there anything more exhilarating in this life than conquering fear?