What scares you? What do you fear? And what do you do when faced with your fears?
My daughter is terrified of being in front of people. She attends third grade at a classical school. As part of their history studies, they have been learning about the ancient Greeks and Romans, including their mythology. They have also been able to take an elective in drama. To integrate history and drama, they recently performed three plays: Echo & Narcissus, Demeter and Persephone and Pandora’s Box.
My daughter was cast as Hera, the Queen of the gods, and she was petrified. The morning of the performance, she didn’t have butterflies fluttering in her stomach, but rather full-grown birds flapping about her insides. Nothing seemed to go right as she was getting ready for school. She waved at me nervously when I came to take my seat in the assembly room. The play started off well; she was hitting her marks and saying her lines with great emotion. But then it happened. She forgot a line. I could see it in her face, her hands covered her face, she tapped her foot anxiously. This mama prayed fervently for her to remember and not to run off stage. Then she relaxed. The line came to her, she delivered it flawlessly, and the play went on. I was so very proud of her. She faced her fear, and though she faltered for a moment, she rose above it and conquered it.
Too often we let our fears get the best of us. Sometimes when we face that crucial moment, it goes better than we imagined. But frequently we falter. My daughter faced one of those moments; she had a choice to keep going or to let her fear get the best of her.
What do you do when confronted with your fears? I might try to come up with a quick plan to get out, around, over, away from the fear. I don’t want to pass through it or dwell in it; that’s too risky. But what joys might I miss by taking evasive action instead of facing that fear, even if it means failing?
I am convicted by the words of King David when he says “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
I don’t know what you are facing. Many of us face far greater fears that a forgotten line in a third grade play. Let me encourage you to keep facing that fear, and even should you falter, there can still be joy. Salvation is found only in the One who provides light and life in the midst of our fears, who faced the sum of all fears on a cross, whose empty tomb marked His triumph over anything that ought to ever make us afraid.