For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity
but of power, love and self-discipline.
– 2 Timothy 1:7 (New Living Translation)
Too often in our lives we’re tempted to hold back? I remember a time when my oldest son wanted to play organized football for the first time. He liked the game and wanted to be with his friends, but didn’t possess what you would call a “football body”. He was positioned in the secondary and loved to go for the interceptions, but was very hesitant of physical contact. As a result, I noticed he played much further from the line of scrimmage than he should have. As a coach, I knew this had to be corrected, but as a father, I had to tease him a little too. I told him he’d created a new football position. Instead of playing cornerback, he was playing “wayback”! Just as I expected, he didn’t see as much humor in the situation as I did. As the season played out, he was able to overcome much of his fear and timidity. He learned a great deal about taking on new challenges and facing his fears with confidence.
There’s a lesson for each of us in this story. The Apostle Paul knew about obstacles and hardship. He was imprisoned, shipwrecked and beaten, but continued to move forward in God’s call on his life. He refused to allow fear to control him. He neither held back nor did he put himself in the “wayback” position. Paul knew that fear did not come from God. Being fearful and timid are natural emotions, but with God’s help, they can be defeated. As a child of God, unlimited strength is ours for the asking. We may not always receive the outcome we desire, but we can face our fears with confidence and complete trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, You are my strength in the difficult times. Teach me to put my trust in You and to never hold back from the things You have called me to do. Amen.