The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is “Do not fear.” It’s in there over two hundred times....
It means we are going to be afraid, and
it means we shouldn’t let fear boss us around.
~ DONALD MILLER, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
I woke up Thursday morning with three things I needed to do that I was scared to do. Each one involved a different situation with a different person.
I don’t like scary things.
But I also don’t like being bossed around by fear.
I did the first thing. It ended up being easy and not scary after all.
I did the second thing. It was harder, but I felt happy getting it behind me.
The third thing? It’s a little embarrassing to admit. It shouldn’t have been scary at all. It was something I wanted to do (but those can also be scary, right?).
I wanted to video chat with my friend Glorhy in El Salvador. But the unknowns and obstacles seemed huge. Would we have anything to say beyond hello and how are you? Would her broken English and my very broken Spanish be too much of a hindrance? Would the whole thing just seem weird?
But I had to try.
Love should trump fear, yes?
I got on-line. Glorhy was already on-line. But of our four connecting points, only one worked. She could see me, but I couldn’t see her, I couldn’t hear her, and she couldn’t hear me.
So for thirty minutes, she watched me—I smiled, Jenna waved, we showed her our dog—and we typed messages back and forth.
Was it awkward?
At times, yes. Sometimes I couldn’t understand what she meant. Sometimes she couldn’t understand what I meant.
But was I glad God told me, “Do not fear”?
Despite our language barrier, I learned
- she has a parrot named Pepe
- she has a boyfriend who is nice to her family
- she celebrates Christmas in El Salvador on Dec. 24, staying awake until dawn on Dec. 25th.
- she’s scared, too.
She has a doctor’s appointment on December 8. She’s scared of the pain. And she’s scared of what’s next.
Fear is trying to boss her around.
But love trumps fear.
Because I love her, I pray for her fear to diminish. I pray she can attend the appointment. I pray the doctor can help her.
And I pray for her—like I pray for me—that when fear tries to boss us around, we’ll be emboldened by God’s love instead, telling us, “Do not fear.”
* * *
Does fear try to boss you around, too? How do you conquer it?