About an hour after my first contraction began, my nurse calmly informed me it was time to push. “What?!” I frantically shouted, “Where's the doctor?” Unfortunately, the doctor never made it in time. Instead, my nurse, along with a few other nurses, delivered my baby girl. It was a unique delivery—one of my daughter's arms was positioned in such a way that it was delivered in the upright position, alongside her head. It was as if she was reaching out to say, “Here I am world! Are you ready for me?” The labor and delivery was a record time of about an hour and a half. Seriously.
On March 11th, our family celebrated my middle daughter's three-year-old birthday. Even at her young age, I love to see how her personality develops. Without hesitation, I can honestly say she has as much spunk as she did on the day she was born. My sweet girl is also fearless in many ways. She's the one who will climb to towering heights on the playground without skipping a beat. My girl is the one who will jump in the water even before we are ready to catch her. In many ways, she is fearless because she trusts us to keep her safe.
Recently though, she's become uncharacteristically afraid in some areas. Not in any big ways, but I can see fear creeping into her life. It's something I regularly pray about for her. Specifically, for God to become greater to her than fear. And so, we simmer on God's attributes, a new one for each day because I don't want the enemy to squelch her brave heart.
In similar ways, fear also creeps into our lives. It certainly did for Peter in Matthew 14.
“During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' 'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.' 'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!'”
When Peter turned his sight towards the wind, he became afraid. He stopped looking at Christ, and fear overtook him.
The world can be a scary place. It's full of sickness, natural disasters, harmful people, job losses, abandonment, hurtful words, and many uncertainties. And it's incredibly easy for our minds to wander down the path of fear, just like Peter.
But God must become greater than our fears.
The truth is, God is greater than our fears, but do we believe it? Do we believe he is who he says he is?
As I fight my own battle over fear, I'm personally, choosing to renew my mind on God's greatness rather than ponder the scary uncertainties of what's before me. It started with my list, and has evolved into praising God for all the ways he's displayed each attribute in my life.
God is greater than my fear.
And I'm going to keep meditating on his greatness until my life begins to live what my mind knows is true.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 26:3, ESV
This week we begin week four of our Matthew study. Please join in at any time! Click here for the reading guide.
Photo: Andrik Langfield Petrides