“let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts…For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933
Fear is a powerful force that can stop us in our tracks. Whatever we are moving toward, may be completely avoided when we justify our fears and give them power.
Identifying our fears by naming them might be our first courageous act. What is the enemy that you are going to battle today? Is it loneliness, despair, guilt, abandonment? Spend a quiet moment asking God, “What is the source of my fear?”
Today, the source of my fear is the idea that I have not done what I should have done in the past and the future of others will be forever tainted by my failure. That statement is full of guilt. And there is nothing I can do to change the past. So, having named it, I have two choices, wallow in the past (punishing myself) or move toward a better future.
I spend a quiet moment with God and ask, “What have you entrusted to me today?”
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19 (NRSV)
God has entrusted to me those whom I love, and though I may have failed them in the past God’s love for me is unending and I must have the courage to overcome my fears and extend that love to them today. “I can do no less.”