I found myself skipping an audition the other day because it required me to do something that I hadn't done since college and I thought I would fail. I let the fear that I would not be able to perform well drive me to not even attending and giving it a shot. It was just one of many examples lately of how I allow fear to dominate my decisions instead of living in freedom knowing that God has my life in His hands.
I have been so encouraged by the book of Esther lately. To bring us up to speed:
Esther is queen and living in the palace. The king and his pal have decided to annihilate the Jewish people. Esther is Jewish but her king does not know that. Esther's cousin Mordecai confronts her and tells her that she cannot just sit back and not step in on behalf of the Jewish people to the king thinking that because she lives in the palace she will be saved. He reminds her that she could have been put in the palace "for a time and place such as this" to intercede on behalf of the Jewish people. The law says that the queen cannot just show up and talk to the queen unless he has requested her presence because, well, she could be put to death.
"Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ' Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.'" (Esther 4:15-16)
Wow. You talk about a woman. "And if I perish, I perish." What guts. What faith. To know that you are going to do what God has put you in this place to do and if you perish, so be it.
Well, I rarely fear for my life. I fear a lot of things- failure, looking like an idiot, embarrassment, getting hurt, rejection, etc. but none of that is as fierce as "perishing".
But what if my faith was so strong that I didn't make any decisions based on fear? I have a friend who is often reminding me to "take fear out of the equation" when I am making decisions.
"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. " -Deuteronomy 31:8
When I remind myself that the Lord Himself has gone before me and fought the greatest battle and it is won... When I remind myself that death's sting has no power over me... Then why on earth would I fear a little pain/inconvenience/embarrassment/rejection/failure in this lifetime? The worst that could happen is I will perish.
And if I perish, I perish.
(P.S. Picture by Romeo Koitmae from Flickr.)