“You have to peddle, I can’t push you all the way around the track,” I said. Her little feet would slowly push, propelling her bike an inch at a time. She would then overcome fear, regain her confidence, and begin to push the peddles a little harder. Suddenly she would remember what happened a few weeks ago and yell out, “Momma I am scared!”
I can’t blame her. Two weeks ago she had an accident that made my heart stop! It looked like someone had tossed her little body up into the air, only to slam it back down on the hard concrete below. I just knew she had broken something. She got up laughing! At first, I thought it was nervous laughter to cover up the pain. However, she had no scratches, broken bones, or bruises! She even climbed back on her bike and rode it all the way home without an ounce of fear.
Despite her lack of injury, something happened between that accident and the ride two weeks later. It was as if a little seed planted itself in the soft soil of her mind. Sadly without her even knowing it, the seed began to grow roots. Now two weeks later as the muscle memory in her brain recognized the peddling motion of her feet, the fruit of that seed showed up. The result was fear.
As I watched her frightened to ride her bike because of fear, I thought back to the day she fell. When it first happened she laughed it off. Now, time was telling her a different story of that day. Thoughts of “what if,” “I can’t-do this,” and “I’m scared” dictated her actions.
My little girl no longer remembered how she got up without
a scratch and rode home.
Now, all she could think about was the fall.
Everyone faces fear in their life. My daughter’s fear came from an accident that produced fear later on. Job 4:14 talks about this kind of fear. “Fear gripped me and my bones trembled.”
Fear can be small, like walking into a room of strangers. Other fears can be huge, especially fears that result from major life-altering events. I have friends who have buried a child, had a spouse walk out on them, or had their life threatened. These type of events can produce major fear. I in no way want to diminish the magnitude of those types of events. However, I do want to expose the one who takes the negative events in life and begins to chain us down.
John 8:44, when speaking of the devil, says, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Maybe the same thing has happened to you. Perhaps you had a scare, a failure, or a setback. Now, instead of moving forward, you are like my little girl and quick to hit the brake and brace yourself.
While helping my daughter overcome her fear that morning, I visually saw how fear can keep someone from moving forward. For my daughter, it literally kept her from going forward!
How do you begin to overcome your fears?
1. Remember what the Bible says about fear.
God’s word is full of verses about fear. Often the key to overcoming fears is replacing the fear with the truth. In my daughter’s case, she couldn’t pretend she didn’t fall. That would have been a lie! However, she could stop those fearful thoughts in their track and replace them with Godly ones.
- Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
- Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid I will put my trust in you.
- Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you!
2. Ask a friend to help you overcome your fear!
Another key step you can take in overcoming fear is to ask others to pray for you. There is an act of humility that takes place when you ask others to pray for/with you. Asking someone else to pray for you requires you to acknowledge the fear that is holding you back.
Don’t face your fears alone! Ask a friend to pray with you and for you.
- Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
Little by little my daughter overcame her fear of riding her bike that day. I loved being right there to encourage her, speak the truth, and watch the transformation. Best of all, the seeds planted by the enemy were uprooted. What about your fears? Will you remain stuck and unable to move forward? If you find yourself there, remember what the Bible says about fear and ask for help! Begin to dig up those seeds that have been planted and move forward!