by Leslie Galema
I invite you back in time to a just a few years ago when I was peaking in the coward department. I was a nervous wreck! I was afraid that I had missed my calling, that I had misunderstood God and that there was no room for someone like me in ministry.
That was fear. Fear is a dirty rotten, no good scoundrel.
Fear whispers in our ears, “Who do you think YOU are to speak with any authority on God’s Word?”
Fear was right! Who was I?
I spent most days laying on my couch feeling sorry for myself. I hadn’t worked in a couple of years and while I couldn’t get a job at any church, there were plenty of leaders asking me to offer up my services for their ministry for free.
Fear whispered: “They don’t think you are good enough to actually pay—they just want you to do it for free.”
Fear was right! How dare they take advantage of me!?
So, I found myself isolated and angry at the world.
Last fall, I went to a conference and heard someone speak about how in Numbers (13:17-30), Moses sent Joshua and Caleb out to assess the land of Canaan—to see what it was like, who the people were, what the culture was.
So, Joshua and Caleb went.
While they were there, they saw that the land that was promised to them did flow with milk and honey but they also observed the people were descendants of Anak, the giant. These people were giants! There was no way they could get past them!
They went back to Moses with their report.
They were all afraid . . . but Caleb spoke up and said, “Let’s go up and take the land that is promised to us! We can do it.”
I imagine that he was greeted with blank stares. They said, We are mere grasshoppers compared to those giants! You are crazy!
Caleb and Joshua reply:
“The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14: 6-9, The MSG)
Basically, Caleb and Joshua look at their people and say look, there ARE giants and we ARE grasshoppers . . . and this is scary and it doesn’t make sense but, God.
God promised. God called us. We need to go!
After hearing this story, fear shut up. The fear that I let keep me down and out of commission got kicked to the curb.
My fear tied me to the tracks and paralyzed me from doing the things that God set in motion in my heart years ago! Yet, it was time to stand up to the “ giants” that had kept me down—so I (the little grasshopper) started plowing head first toward getting back in the game! Things that seemed impossible and far from my reach kept slowly creeping closer.
I had to do a lot of hard work risking rejection, failure, and a bruised ego—and what I found is that when I pushed past the fear that kept me locked up for so long, that God showed up! In fact, God never left me, God knew His plan, it was ME who lost my way by letting fear have a louder voice.
Conquering fear doesn’t happen over night, it takes work and perseverance. There will be giants! Being brave required a strong backbone where my wishbone used to be—with a belief that God’s ways are bigger and better than my ways—and the faith to keep going!
Finally, as Jon Acuff would say: Punch fear in the face!
Leslie Galema is the newest Orange Specialist for 252 Basics. Prior to joining the team, Leslie has nearly 15 years in leadership to the Next Generation. Leslie and her husband Adam live in Indiana with their three kids: Cassity, Jared, and Ryleigh.