I’ve always struggled with fear. In fact, every big change in my life, even those that have been the greatest blessing, has been accompanied by fear. I was afraid to start University, and afraid to launch into my teaching career. I felt fear sitting beside me as I contemplated buying my first house and I still feel it niggling in the pit of my stomach every time I travel.
I know I’m not alone. Fear is part of the human condition, but let’s not believe that it’s unconquerable.
Carrie Fisher is quoted to have said “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action.”
Inspiring as I find this quote, the Bible does one better. It tells us that we do not need to be afraid.
The other night I was reading Psalm 27. This is the first section of Scripture that I ever memorised as a child, but this time it spoke to me in a new way.
“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?”
There are three clear reasons in this text that remind us why we don’t need to fear. First, the Lord is our light; he shows us the way. Second, the Lord is our stronghold; he anchors us with purpose and security. Finally, He is our salvation; the end-game is won and our eternity is sealed.
This is one of the big questions that I wrestle with often in my life.
A pastor at my church once asked me something that I never forgot, and that has come back to mind many times since: “Sarah, whose kingdom are you building?”
So often, in fact I’d even say on a daily basis, I am consumed with building my own kingdom. I find myself orchestrating things to make my life better, to achieve some kind of greatness of my own.
But you know what? That’s not what I was saved for. I was saved to be a living sacrifice, to be a faithful worker in the building of His kingdom. I was saved to lay down my life and let Him build it as He desires.
I was convicted this morning about laying down my own plans for my life. It is so easy to become reliant on self and to become proud of what we achieve ‘on our own.’ (As if we could do anything on our own!) It’s so difficult to humble ourselves before God, but, as one of my pastor’s said yesterday, when we give everything up for the sake of His kingdom over our own, we discover that He knows how to bless us far beyond anything we ever could have constructed for ourselves.
Let God build your life, He’s guaranteed to do a better job.
Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty: Life is pretty tough until you grow up and meet your prince charming and live happily ever after.
With a steady diet of classic fantasies, is it any wonder that countless girls grow up believing that life begins with the meeting of that perfect man?
While the Disney princesses may not have been forefront in my mind, it’s certainly the attitude I tended to have during my teen years. Romance, love and marriage were going to be a given for me. If I’d known I was going to be 28 and still single, I’d have died (in a teenage drama type way.)
I lead a fabulously rich single life, and I wouldn’t take any of it back, but isn’t it a shame that it took me until my mid 20s to decide (and yes, it largely had to be a decision) that life didn’t start at marriage?
Before that, my mind was far too consumed with how and where and when I was going to meet that perfect person. I felt like I couldn’t possibly know where my life was headed until I met them. I felt a bit like I was in a holding pattern.
Eventually I woke up to the reality that life begins at singleness. I wasn’t supposed to be hanging around waiting; God had a plan for me.
His plan means my life is going somewhere whether there’s a man involved or not. And it’s a great life.