Engaging with Fear

Read: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19 (NIV)

“After all, it is I, the Eternal One your God, who has hold of your right hand, Who whispers in your ear, “Don’t be afraid. I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 (VOICE)

Reflect: I have enjoyed the sport of paddle boarding for about a year. I have some issues with my hips and while paddle boarding is a great core workout, it is also known to be gentler on the body than high impact exercise. I loved the beauty of the board skimming the top of the water, the rocking while balancing and the peaceful solitude as I navigated the bay. Unfortunately, after every ride my body would hurt and I had trouble walking with as much freedom as I had before the ride. I recruited a friend and yoga instructor to help me identify what was happening. She quickly noticed how much my body was bracing on the board and encouraged me to let go and relax. My rigid posture while paddling was the source of the problem.

Rigidity and bracing is almost always a sign of fear so the invitation to explore that fear came pretty quickly. What was my biggest fear? That was easy… falling! No one wants to fall, but the fear of doing just that was wreaking havoc on my body and robbing me of this positive experience. The only way through this was to intentionally fall, multiple times. I had to teach my body that falling was okay, not the worst-case scenario, and was easily recoverable by simply climbing back on my board and trying again. By engaging my fear I was able to settle into my new practice. My body grew accustomed to the occasional fall, creating less jarring fear. God and I quickly began to explore other fears in my life with each paddle. Engaging with fear allowed me to enjoy the ripple effects of freedom and a stronger connection to God while being led through the difficulties of everyday life.

React: How can you explore your fears in order to help you have more freedom in your journey with Jesus?

Pray: God, thank you for being active in our lives and caring about our fears. Help us to walk them out with you in a way that leads us to more love and trust.