April 18, 2008
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
James Cash Penney, the founder of the famed department store had a saying that was posted in every store, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” That was never truer than the day my water pipes needed to be fixed. To a normal person this might not seem like that big of deal, but to me it was monumental. Allow me to paint the picture.
I was a single mom who had purchased an apartment house and was remodeling the two bottom units into my salon. With the help of friends, I demolished and built walls, pulled out nasty carpet, laid flooring and installed shampoo sinks. Now it was time to get everything hooked up. When the plumber came he looked at the 18” square in the floor that led to the crawl space, peeked down and discovered the dirt narrowed from about 18” to 12” of clearance. He told me he only had one guy small enough to get down there and if he would even go, the charge would be double.
My entire life I was paralyzed with claustrophobia, from being stuck in an elevator alone at age 9. I hated feeling closed in or even tight places. And now I was face to face with my greatest fear. My friends, who were willing to do it, wouldn’t fit. So I stared at this hole and resolved, if it is to be, it’s up to me.
I rigged up some cardboard to lay on with tools located on the side for easy reach. A rope was tied around me and the extension cord tested to reach the furthest point. I made several attempts to start the job and each time my sweat glands went into overdrive and I would jump back out of the hole.
My dad stood by watching his determined daughter racked with fear so he suggested, “Why don’t you take the cordless phone with you with the intercom? If at any time you feel trapped, or think you can’t stand it, I will cut a hole in the floor and pull you out wherever you are.” That was just the reassurance I needed; dad willing to rescue me.
I scooted across 35’ on my back with the floor joists getting closer and closer to my face. At moments when I felt like panicking, dad would beep me on the intercom to see how I was doing. I could hear his footsteps right above me as I worked. That day marked a turning point in my fear. Now, every time I face tight spots I remember conquering that task, and victory overwhelms the dread.
What fear is gripping you? We have a heavenly Father that has promised to be with us wherever we go! There is nothing we face that he cannot help us conquer. So is your lifeline in tact? Communication with God is so much more efficient than a cordless phone! It is simply our prayers to Him and His Word to us.
Dear Lord, thank you for giving us freedom from dread and worry. Teach us to trust that you have our lives in your hand. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Moving from Fear to Freedom by Grace Fox
God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen
We all have a fear of something. Ask God to help you overcome it. Trust our heavenly Father to go before you and then be courageous and face it, head on.
What paralyzes me and keeps me from moving forward?
How do I handle fear when it grips me?
Why do I resist asking God for courage?
1 Corinthians 1:27-31, “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong…so that no one may boast before Him.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in your faith; be men of courage; be strong.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 18 April 2008.