This time of year can be scary for lots of people. I know I’ve blogged about fears before but they can really be a struggle….especially at this time of year.
I have this app on my phone called “CALM”. It’s the app that I use to practice daily meditation. When I use it regularly it really does calm me down, help ease my anxieties, and helps me handle daily stress better. Today’s practice worked on fears. Fitting being that it is Halloween.
Today Tamara Levitt (I apologize if I spelled that incorrectly) narrated me through working on my fears. She said a profound thing: “Just like any child who is afraid on Halloween, as adults we often face the same challenges. Our fears can lock us in place and keep us from taking healthy risks.” Oh how true this is.
Earlier this summer I was walking my two dogs on a beautiful sunny day. We decided to take a new route we hadn’t ventured to in our new neighborhood. As soon as I took a turn onto a new road I heard massive barking and my dogs perked their ears and stood upright looking around. Before I knew it a very old dog came running down the driveway of a beautiful blue house. I immediately picked up the pace and tried to keep my dogs attention on me instead of the barking, running dog. Quickly my hopes of him/her stopping at the bottom of the driveway were dashed. That dog crossed the threshold of their yard and was across the street with us and changed from barking to growling. My heart was racing, my voice was shaky as I yelled at the dog to go home and demanding my dogs to keep moving forward.
After a second, the dog toddled back home and we continued forward. Unfortunately my pace didn’t slow and my heart was still pounding as I was trying to face my fear of a dog fight and calm myself down. That’s when I looked around as we came to a cross street and suddenly I realized I had no idea where I was. Now my dog fight fear turned into an irrational fear of being lost. Literally I’m blocks from my house friends but couldn’t wrap my head around where I was. So I stopped, took many deep breaths, and just pulled out my phone and GPS. At this point I was really just ready to take the quickest way back home that didn’t go by the blue house, but my maps told me there was also a longer way.
I decided to face my fear of another loose dog and keep on the longer way home. I needed to figure out my way around this new neighborhood and what a better way then on this beautiful day. Scary or not. About 10 minutes later I come upon another walker with two small dogs of her own. I will admit that my heart started to race and I got shaky again (even though her dogs were super tiny compared to mine.) She waved and asked if the dogs could meet. We had a super nice conversation and the doggies got to smell and meet some new friends. As I walked away I thought about how this sweet time would’ve been missed had I just raced back to the safety of my home. I knew I had took the scarier but better path that day and I thanked God for being with me as I went.
You may remember the story about Jesus walking on the water. In Matthew chapter 14 it describes how Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and ride without him as he went to pray on a mountainside. They went off without him but suddenly saw a person walking on the lake towards them. They were terrified thinking it was a ghost.
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!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14:27-31
Oh how many times I’ve cried those exact words to God!
LORD, SAVE ME!!
It is those times when he was right there all along and reaches out his hand to grab me out of my troubles. It is always then when I realize that I have taken my eyes off Jesus and fallen to my fears. That I’ve doubted Jesus love for me. Jesus wants us to leave the safety of our boats. He wants us to trust him and take those healthy risks. Overcome those fears.
I think about that walk with my dogs. I had them on their leashes. I controlled where they went and removed them from the loose dog. I brought them back to safety. Jesus does the same for me. He never lets me stray far. He is only a hand away, ready to grab me and take me back to safety. He loves all of us so much and will never let us go. We must just keep our faith alive and ready to cry out for him to SAVE US!
So whether you trick or treat, celebrate Halloween, or this is just another day for you. Remember to keep your faith. That faith only needs to be the size of a mustard seed! Never lose faith that Jesus will save you!