I find that fear and anxiety are things that most of us struggle with but are not as willing to openly admit. Sometimes it’s because we don’t see it as a “real problem” or we don’t want to seem “weak”. The truth of the matter, however, is that fear and anxiety ARE real and experiencing these things doesn’t make us weak, it makes us human.
A couple years ago while re-reading the story of Moses, I realized that my bible superheroes were just humans like me. Despite all the wonders he performed and lived to see, Moses was a fearful man. When God told him to speak to Pharaoh he said he had a speech issue (Exodus 4:10-13). When God turned his staff into a snake (Exodus 4:3) Moses’ initial reaction was to jump back; fear.
Like Moses, Gideon, Peter, and many other characters faced fear and even perhaps anxiety. This realization opened my eyes to the fact that my favorite bible characters (or superheroes, as I saw them) were human just like me. Yes, they performed wonders and were great men and women, but each one was just a man (or woman)…huMAN, like me.
I learned to accept that I am sometimes afraid of certain things, particularly the unknown, and that fear can turn into severe anxiety, but like these men, I too am able to find the silver lining in the midst of the unknown and anxiety. I wrote my thoughts on this and want to share it with you, but also, if like me, you’re dealing with anxiety know that you’re not alone.
For Moses, it was a message,
one he was afraid to share.
Plus, having to go back home
after he’d escaped from there.
For Gideon it was a battle,
an improbable victory,
and although they faced thousands,
the triumph of 300 made history.
For Peter it was a walk,
an unlikely stroll,
and as he lost his focus
he also began to lose control.
Sometimes it’s the roaring stillness.
Sometimes it’s a dark shadow.
Sometimes a bizarre thought
which is just enough ammo
for the mind to fire away.
Shooting out “I can’ts” and “What ifs”,
because we don’t know what lies ahead
so we constantly hang on the edge of life’s cliffs.
It’s sweaty palms and palpitations.
Dizzy spells and life’s frustrations.
Fighting giants of our own creation
while trying to control our respirations.
Yet in it, Moses found a voice,
Gideon fought a war,
and Peter felt a helping hand
which kept him from the ocean floor.
So perhaps the unknown
has something to offer.
Perhaps the unknown
can begin to author
a different chapter,
a change from the negative,
a story of faith
a change in the narrative.
What was once a place of fear,
what once was the unknown,
can be a place to find faith
and know that we are not alone.