“Do not be afraid.” Easier said than done!

Afterwards Jehovah spoke to Abram in a vision, and this is what he told him: “Don’t be fearful, Abram, for I will defend you. And I will give you great blessings.”
Genesis 15:1

And thus began the great journey of Abraham and all his descendants with the word from our Lord—”Don’t be fearful.”

Many years ago, we were living in Columbus, Ohio and I had a chance to participate in an event called a “Ropes Course.” This is where a group throws a bunch of ropes around trees and obstacles and you have to try and figure out how to go over or get from one tree to the next in the shortest amount of time.

For me, I was about 20 feet off the ground hugging a tree—there were two ropes (one for my hands and one for my feet) attached to another tree 15 feet away. They wanted me to let go of the tree I was hugging and slide across to the other tree. They said it would be good for me. I do like challenges, but no way!

But they did make it a little easier: the whole time, I was attached to a safety harness, and if I did fall, I would never hit the ground. But even with that knowledge, I did not want to let go of my tree. However, in order for me to get to the other side, I had to let go and take the first step.

It was hard, very hard. Others, safely standing on the ground, were encouraging me, but they didn’t see the big challenge. I wasn’t that far up, I didn’t have that far to go—no big deal. But it was big to me.

It seemed like it took forever. I was covered in sweat, but I did it—I made it that 15 feet. Hallelujah. While the encouragement from others helped, it was really two things that got me to let go of that tree: (1) I wasn’t going anywhere if I didn’t let go, and (2) the safety harness had me!

The same is true for many of us today. We are stuck in our fear of change. We know we need to make changes, but we don’t want to let go of that tree we are hugging. Others can see that we need to let go, but we can’t. And has Christians, we know God has promised us that He won’t forsake us. But it is hard, very hard.

So today, let’s pray that through our faith, we are given the strength and courage today to let go of the tree we are clinging to and to take the first step with Christ. We know He is our safety harness, and He won’t let us fall!

Have a great day.