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Fear and a Swinging Bridge

Reading the classic Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard years ago, to my dismay, I related a little too closely to the character “Much Afraid”. Fear as been my go-to negative mind set. Fear has motivated me to do ludicrous things and fear has prevented me from doing amazing things. Fear has gripped me, bound me, tied me up, and thrown me in a closet. Fear pretends to be my friend, but has proven itself to be a mortal enemy. Fear is a deceiver. You probably know the acrostic: F=false E=evidence A=appearing R=real. The “appearance” of fear can trick even the sharpest of brains.

There’s a verse in 1 John that took me years to apprehend. This is it: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (4:18)

Courage is good. Bravery is admirable. Strength is necessary. But LOVE is the antithesis of fear.

God’s intention is not for you to live in fear. Let me reiterate: GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO LIVE IN FEAR! He wants us to experience this one life He’s given to us, and as far as I can tell, fear stifles that experience.

He showed me this a few years ago when I first moved to NC where my husband’s family resided. I was so very bound up in fear and they were all so very adventurous! I tried to hide my shameful trepidations from them, but I’m sure they could see right through. So, when my brother and sister-laws took me up to Grandfather Mountain on a beautiful October day along the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was awed by the fall colors, especially at the lookouts. It was all good until they informed me that we would be walking over the “mile high swinging bridge”. No, not me…sign someone else up…I’m not doing it. Period. End of story. With strong encouragements and zero response, they headed over to the other side. I stood at the access to the bridge and asked my God for courage. But what He gave me was love. He reminded me that I’m His beloved daughter and that He was with me…under me, behind me, before me, surrounding me. So, stepping forward with long, quick strides, I made it across that wooden, chain-jangling bridge to a spacious view of the Fruit Loop colored mountains that seriously took my breath away! FEAR would have held me back from that majestic display of God’s hand. And I believe fear HAS held me back from so many more God-moments.

His love casts out fear. How? It brings me to a new level of love that runs like water, seeping into the very crevices and roots of fear and washes over them. His love takes me from old childhood thought patterns into a world of unconditional, steadfast, perfect, eternal love that sweeps away fear in a most powerful way. His love takes the old mental files and records over them with words no human would dare to utter. THAT kind of love cannot be conjured up and fear cannot stand up to it.

So if you’re bound up you’re not required to buck up. Leave your bootstraps at your sides and let your Daddy hold your hand, guide you with His love, and lead you over every bridge of fear. He won’t leave you stranded. He wants you to enjoy the view.

Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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