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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”—Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
The mountain ahead was dark and foreboding. We walked in formation round and round in the darkness, and as we inched ever closer to the brink of decision, my anxiety snowballed into total panic.
I feared the wild ride ahead. I was terrified of strapping my tiny eight-year-old body into the missile that would catapult me through lurching turns and gravity-defying loops. What if the seatbelt gave way, and I plunged down into the abyss?
“Dad,” I whispered in terror, “I don’t think I want to ride Space Mountain. Please don’t make me.”
My dad assured me that the ride would be fun. He promised to sit close beside me and keep me safe. He enveloped me in a loving bear hug.
I kept my eyes closed for the first part of the ride, but after a few minutes I heard my dad’s contagious laughter. I opened one eye and peeked at him. The ride was suddenly less frightening, and soon my dismay dissipated into delight.
Space mountain is now my favorite ride. I am so glad that I leaned into the strength of my father and let go of my fear.
When I read Isaiah 41, I remember that day standing in the darkness at the base of Space Mountain. Life is a wild ride, and giving in to fear can paralyze us from experiencing the delight God has in store ahead. When we are bombarded by anxious thoughts, we must remind ourselves that we have an all-powerful Father in our corner who will never leave us nor forsake us. He protects His children, and He floods light into our darkness as we turn our gaze from our obstacles and toward His omnipotence.
God has promised to walk with us through every step of our journey. His presence will protect us, and His strength will sustain us. As we press through the fear and choose faith, we will experience the full measure of His pleasure.
DIG: Read Exodus 3:1-15, Exodus 4:1-17, and Deuteronomy 31:1-8. What does Moses learn about dealing with fear?
DISCOVER: Write 2 Timothy 1:7 on a index card or post-it note and read it aloud five times every morning until you commit it to memory. Use God’s Word as a weapon to combat anxious thoughts.
DISPLAY: Meet a friend for coffee this week and share how God has helped you press through fear and walk in greater faith in the past. Share what areas you struggle in and commit to praying for one another to stand strong and be brave.