Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fear Of Failure

by Donna L. Watkins

Having to consider a warmer climate for health reasons, we recently visited Gainesville, Florida. When you're making decisions based on health and not true desires, the view gets a bit muddled.

In reality, I didn't want to move to Florida so I was willing to go part way (to South Carolina). Vitiligo prevents me from being in the sun. Florida is called the Sunshine State, so it didn't seem to fit in my mind.

God has so much mercy with us. When we found the lot in Greenville we were certain "it was God" because it felt so good and fit us so well with it being a conservation community.

Then we had problems with the architect and builder in trying to get plans for a small home. They've been used to building huge for so long, I don't think they grasped our belief of "less is more."

Most of the time when I'm having my morning time with God I find such encouragement and delight in His Word and I praise Him for who He is, not just what I want. God is near when we praise Him. At other times He points out that I've been a naughty child and there is correction, repentance and His forgiveness. A simple process for Him, but so humbling for me.

James 4:13 says, "Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."

Although our need to move is not a business one, this Scripture hit me dead between the eyes for my assumption that all would go smoothly in Greenville. We thought it was a good fit, but God sees further. We get so excited at events and circumstances (or so disappointed) that we let go of His hand sometimes and head down the highway alone - definitely trouble in the making. We could see that what our hearts truly wanted (to garden for a wildlife habitat and encourage others to do so also) would not be fulfilled with this lot or neighborhood.

We must give Him time to talk to us. It's easy to let fear come in and as my devotion book said one day last week, fear causes a loss of perspective. Fatigue (which is the daily challenge I have with the RA) strips us of our courage.

Fear causes us to forget the power of God because our perspective is messed up. Add exhaustion to it and you will feel hopeless and without options. Remember Elijah after his great victory against the 450 false prophets? He was exhausted and that stripped him of courage, which made him fearful until he became isolated, depressed and suicidal.

We can't let things go that far. At times like this we need to surround ourselves with those who support us and will help us to see the options more clearly. Isolation will make us our own worst enemy. Do not allow it!

Reach for God knowing that He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. Reach for strong Christian friends who can offer wisdom and encouragement. Stay in touch! That's been a key factor in staying focused on Truth and not feelings.

God knows that life can get you down now and then. He didn't lecture Elijah for his lack of faith. He gave him time to rest and fed him by sending ravens. God led Elijah into some alone time with Him.

Do you hear God calling you to sit and rest to allow Him to feed you His Word? When all seems lost and the world is falling apart, God will give you perspective and hope. He'll also send somebody to help if you're open to it (and sometimes even if you're not).

Too often I have the "I can do it myself" attitude. It's not a weakness to work together with others. God made us to be part of a team. Jesus came and one of the first things He did was to choose a "team" of disciples. Surround yourself with people you love and make sure they're positive people.

When you're down and out, you can easily attract others to have a pity party and that's not the way out of the wilderness. Truth will lead us down the right path and will help us to make right decisions. Sometimes the actual decision isn't as critical as we make it. Many times we are afraid of failing, like one choice on a decision may not go 100% right so then it might be considered a mistake. We learn from mistakes.

Mistakes are just a traffic sign to guide us to an alternate path, but it doesn't mean they weren't part of the path. God uses ALL for our good if we love Him, so don't freeze up and avoid decisions thinking there is one right answer. Very often there is more than one good choice! Remember God's sovereign will. He will only allow into your life what is good and necessary, so get up and set your feet on the path. He will direct. There's no time to think of failure.

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