Is fear holding you back?

So I've decided to try my hand at gardening. As with most new endeavors, I began to make "The Plan." Cue the notebooks, highlighters, sticky notes... you get the idea. I've ordered more gardening books than I care to admit and am now a loyal subscriber to the Farmer's Almanac. I never thought I'd care so much about frost points or soil pH levels as I daydream of bountiful garden beds bursting with colors and flavors!

But if I can be honest with you, the hardest part of this gardening thing has been actually starting. Buying the seeds and planting them. I know it will be so rewarding, yet something is holding me back. If I can be really honest with you, I think that "something" is fear: plants dying, garden pests, over/under watering, wasting time/energy/resources, etc.

Doesn't this happen in our faith far too often? God calls us toward something and we are filled with fear and doubt. We'd rather stick to what we know, what is comfortable and safe, where we don't have to risk failure or rejection. Sadly, I think we (my hand is raised!) can allow those fears, insecurities, and "what ifs" to stunt us from experiencing deep growth and maturity in Christ.

This is why I love reading the encounter between Moses and God in Exodus chapters 3-4. God leads and calls Moses to a great task: to free his people from bondage. Moses' response is so relatable - he's fearful of inadequacy and rejection and even questions whether he's the right man for the job. God continues to prove his faithfulness and strength, and Moses is able to place his full trust and dependence on Him. Ultimately, Moses was an imperfect person just like us, and God used him greatly to fulfill His plans and purposes.

The great news is that we too can access the confidence and freedom that Moses found in the Lord. For me, that will look like taking the next step in faith and planting those first "seeds." We can trust that the Lord will be faithful and His plans and purposes for us are filled with hope (Jer. 29:11).

This week, I would encourage you to be curious about what that next step of faith could be for you. Here's a simple prayer to help get started: Lord, teach me to trust in your goodness and unfailing love. Help me to replace fear and insecurity with strength and courage. Amen.

Kendall Shuholm