Have you experienced fear? Not the kind you experience from movies or haunted houses, rather, a fear based in reality. Most people have. This fear prevents people from living fulfilled lives. Some people may become so immersed in their fears that they isolate themselves from the world, afraid to live. This type of fear isn’t actually that rare, unfortunately. Can this be overcome?
Have you ever created anything? If so, you can understand that the creator has a responsibility for their creation and all of its faults. If Apple released an iphone that couldn’t take pictures, they would fix this problem. Maybe they would recall the phones or provide their customers with free replacements. Either way, as the creator, they must constantly fix and improve their creation. This is similar to how God fixes his creation, which is us. “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1 :27 NLT). Every person on this earth was personally crafted by God. Take a sigh of relief, as there is much weight that should come off your shoulders. God, your creator, is the one who will deal with all your fears. You just need to hand them to Him, but how?
Obviously, this is not a tangible interaction. People don’t grab a handful of fears and place them in the open palms of Jesus. This writer will use himself as an example to depict the transfer of fears to Jesus . I am not a pastor or preacher by trade so please excuse any imperfections. I am merely an average, everyday person, but with a faith in Christ Jesus. Through that faith, I have been able to hand my fears over to the Lord. The feelings of relief experienced in return have been very real. How this was done is (roughly) depicted below.
I used to have a fear of what others thought of me. I would be conscious of the way I dressed, my physical appearance, the words I said, and how I portrayed myself to others. I really wanted people to like me. However, my expectations for myself were not realistic. This became problematic because it is very hard, if not impossible, to live up to our ideal expectations. My expectations were rooted in perfection, which is ridiculous. I would always fall short. When we strive to achieve the impossible (living up to my unrealistic expectations) we can experience great fear. Fear of failure. That is exactly what I would struggle with. I would become anxious before social interactions or when meeting up with friends. I always had the fear of falling short of my own expectations. There were times when I would isolate or keep to myself as a result of this fear. Despite many attempts, nothing I did could resolve this fear. I was at a loss.
I had been going to church for sometime and had always heard people saying to hand everything over to Jesus because he will make it right. This sounded great, but I was not exactly sure what this looked like. Was I supposed to vocalize my fears in a prayer? Should I ignore the fear knowing Jesus makes things right? I was really confused. However, over time, it became clear.
It begins with identifying the fear. For me, it was the fear of not living up to expectations. It was constant self consciousness. We must be able to recognize where the fear is coming from. Second, it takes engaging in a relationship with our creator. I began to pray and develop my relationship with Jesus. I would pray as if I was talking to a father. My prayers would convey anger and frustration about my fears. My prayers were raw and real. I would also spend time reading the bible and discerning the reality of what Jesus had done for his followers. There are so many examples of the Lord comforting his people. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4 : 6 NLT). What would make me the exception? If Jesus was able to comfort the people of the bible, then it must be true for me as well.
As I prayed and read the bible a transformation began to take place. The insecurity and the expectations began to dissipate. This was nothing of my doing. The Lord had begun to prune and re-shape my life in a way that was free from this particular insecurity and fear. For instance, I no longer found myself in situations where I would worry about my appearance. The people in my life began to change and past worries were no more. I was taking no conscious effort to change these things, rather, I was putting a trust in the Lord to fulfill his promise. Trust was the key to handing over my fears.
The Lord has already made a promise to handle our fears, we just need to let him do that. As the creator He knows how to resolve our fears completely. We don’t. We may find temporary fixes, but most of the time we make it worse. We can certainly hold on to our fear, but we risk exacerbating it.. Handing over fear is merely trusting the Lord to live out his promise. Sometimes this relief doesn’t take place right away like we want (although it can), but that is where we must really have faith. The Lord has given you all the tools you need to handle your fears until he completes his work in resolving them completely.
We might as well hand over our fears to the master craftsman. Do you keep your promises?……. Then why wouldn’t God?