Posted By Nan

Wait and don’t be afraid.

Judges 4,5 and 6.

So many doors have been opening to me this year. People are making themselves available to offer me assistance with my work. I am having increasing numbers of clients sent to me. Yet I hesitate to take the opportunities open to me.

Why is that?

I have been pondering that one for some time.
Today God asked me to listen to what my internal voice was saying.

It said:
I am afraid of change.
So I asked it why?
It replied, I am afraid of failing.
I am afraid I will go the wrong way
I am afraid of putting my head above the parapet where I will be less safe.

From the conversations I have with other people, I know these fears are not uncommon.

As I pondered these fears I was reminded of a story I heard a long time ago of two boys in the dessert. They were separated from their family and needed to step out across the dessert to return to them. One boy, despite his fears, stepped out into the dessert and found his family. The other remained in the shadow of a great rock and eventually turned into a rock. He never made it back to his family and remained forever alone and indecisive.

The understanding I have always had of that story is that no action is not an option. We can go forwards or backwards, but not remain still.

Change is scary. Familiar is safe, the new is not. Failure is hard, but sometimes that is what we have to do. If we trust God and follow Him, we are unlikely to go the wrong way. And if we do, He puts up barriers to lead us to where He wants us to be. And we learn from those barriers. So we need never fear going the wrong way. Putting your head above the parapet is potentially dangerous, but it also rewards you with great views. We have to learn to trust God to hold us in the dangerous moments, in the failures and in the successes too. He can’t bless us if we don’t trust Him and take that step of faith.

In the book of Judges there are two stories that illustrate the fear of taking that step of faith.

The first is the story of Deborah and Barak. Deborah was a prophetess. She went to Barak and told him God had instructed him to wage war on the Midianites who were suppressing the people of Israel. Barak was afraid to go and would only do so if Deborah was with him. She went with him but warned him that the victory over the Midianites would go to a woman. As she had warned, the Midianite leader was killed by a woman and all glory went to her.

Gideon wasn’t sure about taking the bold steps God asked him to. He tested God several times by putting out a fleece for God to make wet or dry on different nights. He did then step out in faith and become a great leader. But he at first hesitated.
These stories are great illustrations of being afraid. I would love to be a Deborah, but I suspect I am more like Barak and Gideon. I would prefer Deborah to come with me so I don’t have to do God’s task alone. And I would put out heaps of fleeces to ensure God was really asking me to do the task.

So I will persevere, feeling like Barak and Gideon, and wishing I was Deborah. And maybe some day I will learn to be her.

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