I will not fear

I will not fear

 

Moving to California has been one of the best decisions my wife and I have ever made. We couldn’t have asked for a better situation, church home, staff, and friends we’ve made along the way. The job I have here is to point students to a savior and redeemer who can love them, save them, and restore them. I get to point students and people to Jesus and I get paid to do it!! Never in my dreams, did I picture myself here in this place, doing this life, and loving it. 
 
Now, that’s not to say that the move didn’t come without worry or fear. As a matter of fact, I can recall a moment along the journey where I almost gave up. It was a moment in which all of my fears, all of my worries, all of my brokenness was put on display and it almost won. The key word being…Almost. 
 
I almost let my past win, 
I almost let my fears run over me, 
I almost allowed the world to tell me I’m finished. 
Like I said, Almost…
 
I remember it all as if it just happen yesterday. Sunday morning driving thru Oklahoma and wishing I could have gotten a venti carmel mocha at Starbuck on our previous stop. I decided to put on some music in the moving truck. My wife was following close behind in our SUV with the girls and I was driving the moving truck and towing my car on a trailer behind. We were reaching the outskirts of Oklahoma when I came across a sign along the road that read… “You were designed to live a life of purpose…” I thought to myself that the sign made absolute sense. Of course we were design to live a life of purpose…purpose in Christ. Our lives as followers of Christ are to be a reflection of who Jesus is. Our purpose is to live a life that leads others to Jesus, Our life mission is to do all things that in the end will shine His light on this world, to glorify God in heaven. 
 
In the midst of that thought, another thought appeared in my mind…”Michael, do you think you have lived a purposeful life?” It was a simple question that I hadn’t dared to ask myself ever. It’s a question that if I truly evaluated it, would open up old wounds and push me into the realm of past regrets. It was a question that came with a lot of expectations I knew I didn’t succeed at nor could I ever dream to reach. It was a question riddled with regret, sadness, despair, anxiety, and at the very core…fear. 
 
In that moment, everything I had ever done wrong, everything I had ever failed at, everything I had never accomplished came rushing in. It was such an overwhelming moment that all I could do was cry…
 
and cry…
and cry… 
 
Have you ever tried driving and crying at the same time? Have you ever tried driving a big moving truck towing a car behind it and crying? If not, then don’t…It’s no fun. Every emotion the human body could conjure up with the exception of happiness was present in that moment. And then another thought came flooding in…
 
”You could turn around…”
“You could run…”
“You could retreat like you’ve always done…”
It seems so easy at the time to do just that…
 
run…
hide…
retreat…
turn around…
 
I kept thinking I was making a mistake moving to California. Why was I moving my family 
2,187.4 miles across the country? Couldn’t God continue to use me in Owensboro where I knew everyone, was most comfortable, in a safe zone protected by the people who knew me best? I could run and hide, retreat back to what i knew best, and… 
 
not worry about unfulfilled purpose…
not fret about failing expectations…
not lose sleep over disappointment…
 
And then God does what he does best when we start to fear and doubt his plans…
 
He slapped me in the face…Literally
 
While I was crying, I must have closed my eye for like a millisecond. It was long enough for me to vier off the road and hit a pot hole and slammed my head against the steering wheel. It snapped me out of my crying phase long enough to hear that coming thru the radio was a faint but clear Christian station. The DJ was reading a excerpt of Psalms 46…
 
WE WILL NOT FEAR
THOUGH THE EARTH
GIVE WAY AND THE
MOUNTAINS FALL
 
No matter what has happened in my life…
No matter all the mistakes I’ve made…
No matter all the failures…
No matter all the disappointments…
No matter all the regrets…
 
I will not fear even if the whole earth is crashing down before me. My strength and comfort comes from the creator of the universe. I need not worry about how I will do, or will I fail like last time. I need only to rest…
 
In his comfort…
In his plan…
In his embrace…
 
Kristian Stanfill in his song, “Always” writes: 
 
“My foes are many, they rise against me. But I will hold my ground. I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm. My help is on the way.”
 
The beauty of Jesus is that he has conquered all of it. He has defeated all fears, all worries, all regrets, all failures, all disappointments. The Jesus that we know and serve, and love has gone to the depths of our depravity and wiped our brokeness clean. We serve the God of 2nd chances, 3rd chances, 4th chances, 5th chances and so on. So do not fear what you can’t see. Do not fear what is in front of you, nor what is behind you for HE is with you always!
 
May you know Jesus fully…
May you know Jesus has conquered it all…
May you know Jesus looks pass your failures…
May you know Jesus looks pass your regrets…
May you know Jesus looks pass your fears…

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