“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.”- Arianna Huffington
“Feed your fears, and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will.”- Max Lucado
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait on the Lord.”- Psalm 31:24
During my kindergarten through third grade years at Northeast Elementary School in Evergreen Park, Illinois, I was fascinated by puppetry. My two favorite TV programs, Captain Kangaroo and a local show called Garfield Goose, prominently featured puppets. Therefore, I began my own puppet collection- Bunny Rabbit and a puppy from the original 101 Dalmatians movie. I housed my puppet collection in a “puppet theater” constructed of two orange crates nailed together. Fabric that opened in the back covered the outside of the puppet theater.
By third grade I added “playwright” to my resume. That year my teacher, Mrs. Smalley, suggested that I put on one of my plays and present it to every K-6 classroom at Northeast. Despite my small stature that made me a frequent bullying target, on that day determination and quiet confidence in my God-given talents produced the fearlessness necessary for my performance.
As a virtue, waiting doesn’t come naturally. We chafe at the very idea. Yet while we wait, God works. How, then, can we exercise the fearlessness to proceed when we are dwelling in the land between prayer offered and prayer answered? Furthermore, as Max Lucado explains, one helpful step is understanding what is means to wait biblically:
“To wait, biblically, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief.”
Unless you teach your moods “where they get off,” C. S. Lewis observed in Mere Christianity, you cannot be a sound Christian. Faith is an incredibly necessary virtue. Especially relevant, a healthy church is the place where your faith is nurtured and your fears go to die. In addition, Max Lucado describes a healthy church:
“We pierce [our fears] through with Scripture, psalms of celebration and lament. We melt them in the sunlight of confession. We extinguish them with the waterfall of worship, choosing to gaze at God, not our dreads.”
Pastor Lucado encourages us to make friends with what happens next. Most importantly, embrace it and accept it. Change is a requisite part of God’s plan. Therefore, God alters our assignments so He can use us to change the world. In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer characterized the beginning of the day for Christians:
“The Lord stands above the new day, for God has made it . . . all restlessness, all impurity, all worry and anxiety flee before him.”