This week God has shown me what has been taking up a large piece of real estate in my heart.
It is something that is quite at home there. I have even been known to encourage it, feed it, and give it more credit than it deserves.
It is fear.
The sad part is, that it is so normal form me that I hadn’t truly realized it was keeping me from being wholehearted. Oh, I know my own struggle well enough.
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of what you think of me.
- Fear of letting others down.
- Fear of what MIGHT happen.
I once had a mentor tell my my fears would not go away on their own. I needed to address them if I wanted to evacuate them from their cozy place in my heart. I have seasons where I’m doing that and feel better about my internal war. But when my margin is small, when I’m especially weary, or when I’m about to step out and lead something—anything—fear makes its presence known. What I hadn’t realized is that I had been avoiding the struggle. And in the process I had allowed fear to rise up like a high rise building in my heart.
But, it appears I am not the only one.
I shared this quote on Instagram last Sunday night.
“Fear arises when we imagine everything depends on us.” – Elisabeth Elliot
The response has been unbelievable. Thousands have saved and shared this little graphic. I get it. I have been walking around imagining that EVERYTHING depends on me. In the process, fear has been having a feast in my heart.
David said, “When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:4
But, I noticed that he said this over and over again in different ways. Perhaps it was because for a time he felt like everything depended on him too.
Lent is a reminder that we can’t save ourselves. We can’t be our own safe place. We are not strong enough to erase fear on our own. I love this affirmation of what Jesus did for us from Hebrews 2:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
I don’t have to be slave to fear or let it stay nice and cozy and well-fed in my heart.
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18
If I’m going to be wholehearted it takes remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to set me free. Praise Him, that has already been accomplished.
Lent whispers, “You are free. Fear doesn’t get to live here anymore.”
And I whisper back, “Jesus, it all depends on you. Help me remember you so I can forget fear.”
(*Find more on Hebrews in my book Is Jesus Worth It? part of The Girlfriend’s Guide to the Bible Series)