These last few months have been filled with many temptations to live in fear.
Our 9 year old daughter’s Love Project for Operation Christmas Child gained national attention a couple of months ago and it’s been quite the ride ever since. Jordyn set out to personally fill 1,000 shoebox gifts, while creating a Youth Challenge to have kids across our nation fill as many shoebox gifts as they could. Her goal was to gain 10-20 churches/organizations to support this challenge, and to have 5,000 shoebox gifts made. She exceeded both her goals, by collecting enough items to personally pack (with the help of local family and friends) 1,320 shoebox gifts, and ended her Youth Challenge with 5,161 shoebox gifts filled.
It’s been overwhelming to put our “baby girl” out there to the world. I remember sobbing before God when we were trying to decide whether or not to allow the interviews to begin to take place. I wasn’t ready. I was scared. I really liked laying underneath the radar. But, really… the root of all of my anxiousness was fear.
I had no doubt God was asking me to release this fear, so that I would say yes to this adventure. But, it seemed the more scared I got, the tighter I held. It was gripping, even suffocating at times. Finally, I was reminded of a Bible verse that has more meaning to me than I have space to explain here:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
In Chapter 1 of Joshua, we see that the LORD was commanding Joshua to cross the Jordan River with the Israelites. His mission was to lead the people to the land God had promised to Moses. However, it was flood season and the waters were high and raging. But, God spoke these same words to Joshua years ago and Joshua listened. Be strong… be courageous…
Here are three ways God used Joshua to help me overcome my own fear.
- Joshua chose to keep his loyalty and faith in God. He had to have known that leading the Israelites across the Jordan was a crazy-only-God-could-do kind of assignment. And, yet he chose to believe that His God was big enough to do this.
- Joshua chose his attitude and responded to what God was asking him to do. There’s no doubt in my mind Joshua was filled with anxiety and fear. Yet, he still took that step and chose to trust God. (And, spoiler alert, when Joshua took that step, God blessed his faithfulness.)
- Joshua chose to release his fears, so he could be courageous. You can’t be courageous and fearful at the same time.
This led me to understand that in order to conquer my own fears, I needed to follow Joshua’s example. I needed to make the choice to keep my faith in God, to choose to change my attitude so I could respond to what God was asking me to do, and to choose to release my own fears so that I could be courageous.
Since choosing to be courageous, Jordyn (and I) have had so many incredible opportunities and experiences that would not have come up if we had said no! If our daughter has taught us anything with her Love Projects, it is that “God is a really BIG God and there isn’t anything we can’t do if we trust in Him.” Today, I choose to put my faith in that kind of wisdom!