Confession: I have a severe fear of storms. A fear that has plagued me since I was a child. One that has been so awful that even the thought of a storm sends shivers down my spine, and makes my body ache.

My husband and I talked about taking our kids camping this weekend, but the weather forecast included a chance of severe weather, so with that we acknowledged my fear and we both said, ‘NO.’

Really wanting to getaway, I monitored the weather app on my phone everyday this week, and it consistently showed an 80% chance of rain with a chance of severe storms throughout the day. As I sat at my desk Friday morning I decided to check my app just one more time, to my surprise there was no longer a stated threat for severe weather, and even though it was to rain, it was only for a few hours and a slight chance at that. As I sat there mulling things over my co-worker jumped in and said, ‘You know if you don’t go, it isn’t going to rain. You just need to pack up and take a chance.’ With her words I texted my husband, our minds were made up and in a moment of spontaneity we were off to pack up and head out. I am thankful we made that decision. Yes, there was stress of packing last minute, taking a two and four year old out to tent camp, and forgetting little odds and ends, yet with all of that we still had a relaxing weekend, one with NO storms and only a slight mist of rain that drove us to the tent to relax and watch our kids play. 

As I reflect, I realize my fear, had I given in would have left us at home for no reason at all. Had we stayed home, my children wouldn’t have gotten to play kickball with our camping neighbor, we wouldn’t have splashed in the bone chilling cold water of the pool, two of our children wouldn’t have caught the fish that caused giant smiles to spread across their faces, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet a new family and play sand volleyball with them until it was so dark we needed flashlights to make our way back to camp…we would have missed out on all of this for no reason but fear itself, a fear that for this weekend, was completely unrealized.

It makes me wonder…this was not a spiritual experience at all, but I can’t help but wonder how often does fear play a role in limiting our walk with Jesus? How often do we allow the threat of a ‘storm,’ or facing a fear to persuade us to stay where we are, within our comfort zone? God desires to work in us all. He asks us to trust Him – to follow Him. We see where He beckons, yet it looks as though where He leads is a storm and we become afraid and say, ‘No, thanks God, I think I will stay right here in my own shelter.’ We stay in that place, and yes, we stay, ‘safe,’ but I wonder in order to stay, ‘safe,’ what do we give up? What experience with God do we forfeit all because we fear the POSSIBILITY of a ‘storm?’

The Bible teaches us in Psalms 46:1 

God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.

He doesn’t call us to a place of fear. He calls us to Him, and wherever He leads us, He will not leave us, which tells us whatever lies on the road ahead, He will protect us, He will be our strength, and He will order our steps. 

Psalms 121:3

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber.

What a promise! I wonder, where are you today? Has God called you to a path that looks questionable? Do you see storm clouds ahead? Are you weighing the pro’s and con’s of following Him or staying in your own realm of safety? If so, remember Psalms 46:1, He is there, and even though it looks scary, it looks stormy – it doesn’t mean it’s going be, and even if it does and things do get a little scary… Remember His promise found in Psalms 121:3 He who watches over you will NOT slumber. Follow His lead today, refuse to give into fear, put your life in His hands, trust Him, you will not regret it…Choose Him.

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