My baby girl doesn’t realize there is no invisible safety net surrounding our bed. Before bedtime, we play on the queen-sized mattress and she tests how far she can drop her head off the edge before I grab one of her tiny cankles.
And the trust fall? She’s the master. She’ll throw her body back like the world is her feather-soft, down-filled mattress. Fear is not in her vocabulary. Mommy and daddy are superheroes, there to whisk her back up into the clouds at a moment’s notice.
Isn’t it interesting how fear isn’t an emotion we are born knowing?
It’s something that results from memory. Experience. The first time our head hits the floor. The time we fall and there is no one to pick us back up.
Sometimes we spring back and try again, determined to move forward despite opposition. Kids are the perfect example of this. I’ve watched my six-year-old endure countless bumps and bruises while playing, only to run back for one more round on the swing, slide or bike.
But then there are those hits that leave us lying down, begging for mercy. Forget getting up. We’re satisfied with crawling into a safe cocoon somewhere, if it means we’ll be safe.
These life moments are when fear is born. Whether the pain is physical or emotional, it leaves a permanent mark. And the fear seeps into our days and routines, often without us even realizing it. We no longer feel secure like the baby girl throwing her head back, but like we’re constantly on the precipice of an abyss. Like one misstep could send us flying over the edge.
Until a few months ago, I didn’t realize fear was still dictating the steps of my life. I turned a deaf ear to the fact that I was silently telling God, “I’ll follow you this far, but no further.”
I was a lot like Moses when God called him to lead the Israelites. Full of excuses.
“Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”
Exodus 4:10 NIV
Arguing with our Creator about our capabilities doesn’t usually work out in our favor.
But in Moses’ case, God did use someone else to deliver his messages. Aaron. Even though Moses was fully capable of speaking with the Lord’s help and guidance, God honored his request and gave him a vessel.
Moses was not secure in his potential because he forgot who his enabler was. He forgot that the same God who created the heavens and the earth also created him, and was more than able to use him to influence generations to come. Moses was too focused on himself.
When we focus only on ourselves, we lose our focus on God.
Over the next nine chapters, God uses Moses to perform mighty acts and miracles and lead an entire nation out of captivity. He strengthens Moses’ resolve. He builds the security Moses is lacking as he repeatedly stands before a callous, hard-hearted Pharaoh.
As I read through these chapters and prayed about my word for 2018, I knew God was calling me to be braver. Bolder. To take more risks for him. Not out of recklessness or carelessness, but because I knew he would be there to lead and catch me when I fell. But I sensed there was something else he wanted to show me. Something he wanted me to remember, and that I was lacking.
When we’re secure in our position with the Lord, we can take bold steps for him. Why? Because we know he’ll never leave. We know he’ll guide us when the waters get rough. He’ll be our safety net when we step too far.
Our paths are secure not because the way is always easy, but because the Guide is always present.
So this is my word, and my heart for 2018: Secure. May he make me confident and assured in his love and his plans for my future.
And may he do the same for you.
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV
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