Lessons From This Summer (Final Part) — Do Not Fear

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So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

The school year is getting closer.  I feel like that is the ever-present thought on my mind.  It brings with it joy and excitement at the thought of seeing friends, having new classes, activities, and new memories to be made.  At the same time, it often also inspires feelings of panic as I consider the amount of responsibilities that are different and far greater than those that I have during the summer months.

When I focus on those responsibilities, I just want to curl up in my bed, lock the door, and hide in my room.  (Like that ever really solved anything for anybody).  But when I am afraid and overwhelmed, that is usually my first response.  Where can I hide?  How can I keep this from happening? Other times, I think to myself, “I know I am supposed to do this, but if there were any way to make it easier, less stressful, less expensive (fill in the blank with whatever usually applies to you)…”

I have mentioned in my previous two posts that this summer has been one of immense personal growth and learning.  I am not going to write a post about each of the lessons that I have learned this summer, but the lessons have been many.  I have learned about my relationships with other people, my view of God, many of my faults, how I spend my time, money, God’s provision and timing, as well as many others.

This past Sunday in church, one of the points of the sermon was, “When we stand for Christ we draw a line in the sand that is daring Satan to cross it.” It discussed how our enemy uses his tools against us to find what will eventually pull us away from putting our trust in God. One of the easiest ways for me to stop trusting God is to give way to fear.

This summer has been a time of me more firmly drawing my line in the sand.  As I learn these lessons and put them into practice I am choosing to stand for Christ.  Heading back to college and starting a new school year will be a time to really live out what I have been learning in a different environment than my home. When I fear everything that could go wrong before I even get there, it is so easy for me to take my eyes off of Christ and lose my firm footing.

This Sunday, the Lord gave me a special blessing which encouraged me to not fear and continue to stand for Him and live out what I have learned this summer.  After the sermon, we had a baptism at a lake and were blessed by the testimonies of people sharing what God has done in their lives. Walking back from the lake, I had a conversation with an older, wise sister in the faith whom I had never met.

She talked to me about her own life, issues the world and church were facing, and other topics.  Then she looked me in the eye and said,

“God will never leave you or forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. You do not need to be afraid. You are so blessed. You have everything that you need.”

My eyes welled up with tears and I thanked her for her words as we got in line for the church potluck following the service. I got my plate of food and sat down at another table with my parents and some other friends from church.

An older brother in the faith sat down who was my Bible study leader a few years ago.  He asked me about my life, and I talked with him about the many lessons I had been learning this summer as well as struggles and fears.  He reminded me,

“Isn’t it amazing how many times we are told not to fear. God has great plans for your life, Breanna.”

I got in the car after the service had ended and broke down crying in the car from the encouragement that I had received from the Lord through these dear people, one of whom  I had never even met.  It was so incredibly freeing to realize that the only thing that was holding me back from really living out what I have been learning was my own fear.

God reminded me in a very personal and incredibly loving way that He is with me always on this journey.  That He is standing beside me, helping me to fight the lies of the enemy with His truth. That He is all sufficient for me, and that He is taking care of me. That I have absolutely no need to be afraid.

I will honestly admit to you that all of my little worries have not disappeared, but they have subsided. I admit that there are still moments where the easier thing to do seems to hide from, rather than walk boldly towards whatever I am afraid of.

But in spite of my fears, I am drawing my line in the sand.  I will serve Christ.  I will live for Him daily.  I serve a God who is bigger than my fears and whose truth is more powerful than the lies that the enemy wants me to believe.

So to any of you who might be afraid today of whatever today, this week, this month, this year holds for you, I echo the words of my sister in the faith…

“God will never leave you or forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. You do not need to be afraid.”

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

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