When Fear Knocks - Encouragement Café - August 21, 2017

When Fear Knocks
By Carolyn Dale Newell

Monday, August 21, 2017

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

I was content living with a visual impairment. I had grown up with it. Changes took place slowly, and they were hardly noticeable. Then, in 2011, my vision diminished dramatically, and I had to face the fear of living in total darkness.

The fear was more than I could handle. When you grow accustomed to living in a particular manner for 50 years, it is hard to imagine changes. What would it be like to never see the faces of friends and loved ones? How would it feel to never see flowers again?

What about the mountains outside my window? How would I do such things like cooking, laundry, or Bible study? Will I lose all of it, or will I still see light? Yes, light, please God, not total darkness!

God had a plan, and I had to trust Him. Easier said than done. I reflected on what God had brought me through. God gave my husband victory over leukemia. He had pulled me through several years of great emotional pain with a wayward child. I trusted Him to bring me through this, but fear still had its foot inside the door.

If someone had told me in 2011 what God was going to do in my life, I would not have believed them. That is why we walk by faith, not sight, and that was what God taught me to do.

I learned to walk down the street with my safety depending on a white cane. This usually protected me from obstacles. However, there was a bigger lesson to learn. During that process, faith slammed the door shut on fear.

Fear freezes us. It keeps us from moving ahead. It stops us from witnessing. Fear paralyzes us when God tells us to serve Him. It mutes us when He says, “Speak!”

I don’t have to know what is ahead. God knows, and when I walk by faith, that is enough.

Fear is the opportunity for faith to grow. Each time fear visits, our faith grows a bit stronger. We just need to let faith open the door to fear and send it packing.

I am grateful for those walks I shared with my cane, but now I have a new companion, my guide dog, Iva. However, getting her involved another visit from fear.

Flying alone and having a layover, provided enough fear for my trip to guide dog school. The explosion in New York City the day before I arrived made fear knock louder. It was another terrorist attack. Fear, meet faith. God will see me through, and He did.

Friend, what fears are holding you back today? Is it learning to live without sight? Perhaps you are confined to a wheelchair. You may be starting life over without your spouse, or maybe you have lost a parent or child. There is hope in Jesus Christ.

When all else fails, He never leaves your side. He gives you strength when you feel weak. He gives grace when you need it most. Learning to depend on God will be the greatest blessing you can experience.

Is fear knocking at your door? Don’t even go near it. Instead, let faith answer.

Prayer Father, we know You have a purpose beyond our understanding for this fear, this weakness. I will trust You and abide in Your strength with Your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

© 2017 by Carolyn Dale Newell.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 21 August 2017.