My daughter has struggled with fear her entire life. We first noticed it when she was a baby. She would hold her breath when we carried her down a flight of stairs. Then, at the age of five, she passed out while riding the Ferris wheel at the state fair. Her fears sometimes hinder her from even participating in life—from being an active contributor to society.
Over the years, my heart has broken for her as I’ve watched her hold back from doing the things she really wanted to do. Playing it safe only left her depressed. She lived most days looking at the world from behind a wall of safety glass, longing to be free. She’d often ask the same question, “Mom, why can’t I be full of faith instead of fear?” My answer was always the same. “You are full of faith. You just let fear crowd it out.”
Freedom came when Peyton decided that she didn’t want to live with regrets any longer. She pushed through her fear by exercising her faith in God. In doing so, her life is now marked by joy, peace, and courage.
Let me ask you, “How many times have you wanted to do something, plan something or even dare to dream, but you were too afraid?” You know deep within that your torment isn’t right. You know you’re missing out on life and opportunities, but you’re too scared to do anything about it.
Those of us who live with anxiety are living below the mark of what we were created to be. Worry and its accompanying emotions are not and never were part of God’s plan for His children. Yet thousands live this way each day.
I’ve often wondered about the eleven disciples who stayed in the boat instead of stepping out onto the water like Peter (Matt 14:33). Did they live with regret? I don’t know. They did, however, miss an amazing opportunity to walk on water with Christ! Sadly, most people stay in the safety of the boat their entire lives and then wonder why life seems so empty, miserable, and dull. They go through life missing opportunities because they’re afraid to really live the way God intended. What’s Christ response to all of this? “O man of little faith. Why do you doubt me?”
Doubt was the disciples’ trouble. When Peter threw one leg over the side of the boat, nobody believed he could walk on water. I can almost hear his friends calling out, “Peter? Have you lost your mind? You can’t do that!” And yet, while that thought was still fresh on the minds of his friends, Peter was already doing it. He was walking on water!
Is there someone in your life planting doubt in your heart and mind over something you’re already doing? If so, don’t listen. Don’t look back. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your faith will enable you to walk on water. Exercising your faith is key to courageous living. Like Peter, we are then able to step out of the boat into a world of possibilities.
Something to ponder:
Are you living with regrets due to fear?
What fears are you facing now?
What are you already doing that doubt is causing you to quit?