Fear has always been a part of my life, but never more than in the past year. Since January I have been dealing with the fears of leaving behind everything that is familiar, comfortable and safe. It feels like one worry will always be replaced by the next. This week everyone has been healthy, no worries there, but we have been battling creepy crawlies. I found worms crawling through my toothbrush bristles, a cockroach under our mosquito net (they seem to only come in one size here) and we've killed 5 fist- sized poisonous spiders in the last 2 days.
The exciting thing is that I feel less fearful than I used to. Each fear faced feels like a victory, knowing that we are still moving forward and not remaining paralyzed. I feel like I’ve been living out the words of Joyce Myer, “Do it afraid!” I came across this story and thought it was profound. . .
I once heard a story of a village where the children were told by their parents: "Whatever you do, don't go near the top of the mountain. It's where the monster lives." All the previous generations of children heeded this warning and avoided going near the top of the mountain.
One day, some brave young men in the village decided that they had to go and see the monster. They wanted to see what it was really like and defeat it. So they loaded their packs with provisions and set off up the mountain. Halfway up, they were stopped in their tracks by a huge roar and a terrible stench. Half the men ran down the mountain, screaming. The other half of the group continued on their journey. As they got farther up the mountain, they noticed that the monster was smaller than they had expected - but it continued to roar and emit such a stench that all but one of the men ran back down the mountain into the village.
"I am going to get the monster," the one remaining man said to himself, and he took another step forward. As he did so, the monster shrank until it was the same size as the man. As he took another step toward the monster, it shrank again. It was still hideously ugly and continued to emit and stench, but the man was so close to the monster now that he could actually pick it up and hold it in the palm of his hand. As he looked at it, he said to the monster, "Well, then, who are you?" In a tiny high-pitched voice, the monster squeaked: My name is Fear."
I feel like we are in the foothills of the mountain, but have begun the climb. I can't wait to take that little fear- monster in my hand and see him for who he is. God did not give us a spirit of fear! In fact I think I am going to declare that truth the next time I slam my flip- flop into a spider (more likely shout it across the room as Jason kills the spider). I still have a ways to go.