Some of My Childhood Fears
- The neighbor’s big barking dog
- Something under the bed at night
- Being the new kid in class
- Going to the blackboard to do math problems
Kids have fears. I don’t think its genetic, I think it’s taught and I was taught to fear snakes. “The only good snake is a dead snake,” my Dad would say. That stuck with me.
Some of My Adult Fears
- Failing in my ministry
- Fatal illnesses
- Something happening to my kids
- Becoming ineffective and useless
- That in the end I wasn’t good enough
My fears were learned over a lifetime and rooted in the core of self-esteem issues.
Often our fears are based on imaginary problems resulting in unreasonable anxiety.
Years ago, I was in my office at the church when I got a call from an elder of a very large church in Nashville. They were searching for a new Senior Minister and said I was at the top of a very short list. He told me about the opportunity and asked If I would like to bring my family for a visit. I said, “No.”
I didn’t think about it or ask for a day or two to get back to him, I just said no.
Because I was afraid. I was afraid of the idea of leading a really big church. The fear was based in inadequacy, that I wasn’t good enough, not possessing the requisite skills. I was intimidated, flattered, by intimidated. We didn’t visit.
Over the years I’ve wondered if that was a mistake, a missed opportunity, the shutting of a door that the Lord had opened.
The Boat Story
Remember Simon Peter asking Jesus if he could go out to him to have him on the water? Jesus said yes and out of the boat he went, walking on the water. But began to sink. He saw the stormy winds causing the big waves and he doubted. The word doubt means to lose confidence. In that moment, Peter lost confidence in Jesus.
Losing confidence was about looking at things that cause fear. Peter could have walked the whole Sea of Galilee if he had kept his eyes on Jesus.
Let’s be encouraged to keep our eyes on Jesus. Trust requires us to stay focused on his word and his power. It’s a faith experience to walk with Jesus in confidence. It’s a fear experience to give our attention to anything else.