I grabbed the pen, eager to sign up as a volunteer at the local pregnancy crisis center. There were several opportunities available: Provide food for meeting – umm, nope not my area; Wash and fold donated baby clothes – ouch! Laundry! I can’t keep up with mine and my hubby’s, much less add more. That’s out; Reception, answer phones – Ahhh, I can handle busy (or not) office phones! I am no stranger to complicated phone systems. I can do this!
My hand trembled. I gripped the pen tighter, poised above the paper that said “Reception/Phones.” Only, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t put pen to paper. I wanted to help. They needed help. I believed in the work the center was doing.
I put the pen down and walked away. Without signing up.
The “What if’s” got the better of me when I over analyzed the situation. Sure, it was only answering phones. I’d worked in professional offices long enough to be very comfortable with phone etiquette. But…
What if I say something wrong? What if I discourage a young, pregnant mom by saying the wrong thing? What if she chooses not to come in, and instead seeks an abortion? What if…?
I’m no stranger to What if situations. Looking back, it seems that me and “What If” have been besties since I was a child!
“Do you want to ride the ferris wheel?”
“Nooooo, what if it gets stuck at the top?”
“How about the roller coaster?”
“Noooo, what if it flies off the tracks?”
How many times do we allow the What Ifs to scare us off?
“Do you want to ________________? (Fill in the blank)”
“Noooo, what if the absolute worst happens?”
Jesus told the synagogue official in Mark 5:36 “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” But first, we have to figure out what we are afraid of. That night, fear made me turn my back on a worthy cause. Fear has held me back from many, many opportunities. Often, when we say no to an opportunity, it isn’t because it’s outside of God’s will, but because it is outside of our comfort zone. We’re not willing, because we fear the unknown. We’re not willing, because we don’t believe. We’re not willing because we imagine the worst case scenario.
In their book Experiencing God, Henry and Richard Blackaby say that when God invites us to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for us. We realize pretty quickly that we can’t do this on our own, and without God’s help we will fail.
“This is the crisis of belief when you must decide whether to believe God for what He wants to do through you.” (Experiencing God, page 134)
Do we really believe that God will provide everything we need in order to carry out His will? That Jesus is faithful and He will equip us? Will God really be with us, never leaving or forsaking us? Will He really equip us? Do we believe that God is sovereign and in control of ALL THINGS?
At this point, the best prayer to pray is “God, I don’t want to do this without You. I can’t, without You!”
“Then Moses said, “If You don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.” Exodus 33:15 NLT
Take a step of faith over fear.
Sign your name. Volunteer. Face your fear, with God.
Know that in doing God’s will, you WILL have His presence.
Lord God, I believe! Help my unbelief! I want to stand firm and follow Your will, even when it’s outside my comfort zone! Thank You Jesus, for equipping me and holding me tight even when I am fearful. Amen
Grace be with you,