The sun was barely peeking over the horizon one morning. It was foggy, the roads were damp, and I was driving along a small mountain road. Limited by visibility, a curve came up sooner than expected. Instinctively, I slammed on my brakes. Then, I quickly realized my SUV was no longer under my control. Instead of stopping, my vehicle hydroplaned and took a nosedive down a very tall embankment.
My accident occurred six years ago. Despite my totaled vehicle, I survived the crash with only a few injuries. Little did I know my internal scars would haunt me for the next six years. I became fearful of driving, especially at high speeds and around curves. Then, after experiencing a panic attack while driving interstate, I made the terrible decision to avoid driving interstate altogether. It was a mistake I now regret.
The past several years, I convinced myself I could avoid my fear. “I can live with this,” I thought, “I will make it work.” Do you know how small my world became? My poor choice to avoid interstate driving enslaved me to fear. As the years went by, I also witnessed my fear slowly and steadily take over more areas of my life. Can you relate?
Then, after a road trip this past summer, I decided to finally trust God and courageously battle my fear. . .
On a bright Sunday morning this past July, the sun rose on a new day. It was the day I chose to begin my journey of freedom. My goal was simple: merge onto interstate and take the first exit, four miles away. As I approached the interstate on ramp, my body began to shake. I tried to gain control of my breath. Then, I merged onto interstate and drove. Despite feeling frightened by many uncertainties, I continually chose to trust God. I asked him to affirm me of his presence, and you know what? He did.
I drove through those terrifying four miles, and gained a big victory that day. Since then, I have continued to battle my fear almost every Sunday. I didn't think it would take this long to be freed from my fear, but then again, I was enslaved to it for six years!
When I look at interstate today, I am not haunted by my past. Instead, I am reminded of intimate times with my Lord. It's evident he is delivering me from my fear, and I now stand firmly planted in his promises.
Can you relate to my fear? If not, what fear do you struggle to overcome today? Maybe you are not aware of any. If so, simply ask God to reveal any of them to you. Also, recognize fear can take many forms. Fear of rejection, illness, loneliness, and poverty are just a few.
This week we will be learning about courageous people of the Bible and how God calls us to trust him. If you know exactly what fear you are battling today, please share it with someone, so he or she can pray for you. I would also love to pray for you by name this week. Prayer makes all the difference! Please feel free to contact me here. Please also click here for the reading guide. Let's begin by reading Monday's verses:
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
As you read these verses, consider these questions:
What is the significance of a tree planted by a stream?
How can you “plant” yourself by the Living Water?
Photo: Artur Pokusin