I snuggled a little deeper in my blanket and turned the page. The words and the book spoke inspiration and encouragement to me.
Though Christmas was over, I’d begun reading Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado.
As my eyes ran over the page, my heart did a little turn as I read this story.
We can probably all relate to the story of the little boy in the Christmas pageant, Max writes.
He was cast for the part of the angel and he had practiced his lines over and over with his mother’s help. “It is I, be not afraid. It is I, be not afraid.”
But when the night of the pageant arrived and the little boy stepped onto the stage and stood there in the lights with all the expectanct faces looking up at him, he stood there for a moment and then spoke. “It is me and I am scared.”
I laughed a little and then tears brimmed up in my eyes as I re-read this little man’s words.
“It is me and I am scared.”
How well I related to it.
Here I am.
Thirty-odd years, quickly closing in on forty. I’m already past thirty-five and that’s half of three score years and ten.
Yet, often I find myself standing in the lights and stumbling out the words.
It is me and I am scared.
I’m afraid of all the afraids.
They divebomb me at times.
They threaten, and they aren’t waiting with bright expectant faces like the little boy’s mama and his audience were.
All the Afraids
Afraid of being seen.
Afraid of not being seen.
Afraid of being noticed.
Afraid of not being noticed.
Afraid of being laughed at.
Afraid of saying no.
Afraid of saying yes.
Afraid of interfering.
Afraid of being hurt.
Afraid of offending.
Afraid of being offended.
Afraid of letting others down.
Afraid of indebtedness.
Afraid of not-enoughness.
Afraid of vulnerability.
Afraid of not being enough.
Afraid of not being GOOD enough.
Afraid of failure.
Afraid of success.
Afraid of opportunity.
Afraid of getting stuck.
Afraid of trying new things.
Afraid of NOT trying something.
Afraid of rejection.
Afraid of manipulation.
Afraid of controlling people.
Afraid of not having control.
Afraid of emptiness.
Afraid of despair.
Afraid of death.
Afraid of knowing what to say.
Afraid of talking too much.
Afraid of scorn.
Afraid of intimidation.
Afraid of ridicule.
Afraid of falling flat.
Afraid of looking silly.
Afraid of disappointing people.
Afraid of disappointing God.
Afraid of failing as a parent.
Afraid of grace.
Afraid of messes.
Afraid of blessings.
Afraid of saying the wrong thing.
Afraid of getting run over by others.
Afraid of dependency.
Afraid of disease.
Afraid of cancer.
Afraid of pain.
Afraid of meaninglessness.
My fears are unfounded. Am I perfect? No. But perfectly accepted and loved in Christ.
Will I disappoint others? Will I fail? Will I fall? Yes.
Will I say the wrong thing? Will I be ignored? Will I snub or cause hurt? Yes, yes, and yes.
BUT NOT EVERY TIME. I am a child of God and His Spirit is at work in me.
I will bless. My whispered prayers do matter. They do make a difference. I will show up. I will make a difference for others.
Sometimes, I’ll be trembling all the while. Sometimes I’ll walk away, quite sure I totally flubbed it, only to find out later how much something I did meant to the receiver.
I’ll have regrets, but I’ll also have VICTORIES!!!!
The afraids aren’t going to win.
Our Father had it penned time and time again in His word. Fear not. Don’t be afraid. I’m here. Don’t fear. I know you’re scared. Take my hand. Worn out? I’ll carry you for a while.
Remember? I told you, “Tis I, be not afraid.” I told Peter. I tell you. Faith, little one. Faith.
Faith conquers afraids.
Let’s sing, dear heart. Slip your hand in mine and sing your heart out!
♫♪♪♫♫Tis I. Be not afraid! Tis I. Be not afraid! Whisper when my frail bark is tossed, Tis I! BE NOT AFRAID.