Do not be Afraid
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
Luke 2:10 NIV
“Fear not,” or “Do not be afraid” is written in the Bible 365 times.
Frankly, though there are some days that I’m scared. I fear failure, criticism, and car wrecks. I’m scared of snakes, sharks, and the sea. Just to name a few.
Before 8 a.m. this morning, I was feeling “overwhelmed,” which is a fancy word for “fear.”
Saying I’m “overwhelmed” makes me sound busy and sophisticated when what I really want to do is crawl under the covers and hide.
Instead, I sat down in prayer to see why? (After all, there were no snakes or sharks to escape). But what I did find was a pile of sneaky lies slithering around in the shadows of my thoughts. Hissing and making me feel small, helpless, and alone.
I wrote them down. They probably aren’t that much different than your lies- the good ol’ standbys. “Your work isn’t good enough. He/she is smarter, better, more productive (fill in the blank) than you. You’re stupid. Etc.”
I know they aren’t true, but still, they spew. And fill me up with poison sometimes. Then suddenly, I am very afraid.
So this morning, I prayed.
“Jesus, I’m afraid. Apparently, there is a “fear not” for each day of the year, but I need one for each minute, please. And since I’m a big scaredy-cat, could you please teach me about fear so I don’t feel so dumpy?”
This is what I heard,
Fear is a cause to pause. An invitation to stop and seek My way forward.
I thought about the circumstances in scripture when The Lord says, “fear not.” These are pivotal times when His people have paused to ask for direction and courage. They are taking big risks; facing their giants; going into battle; saying unpopular things; traveling into unchartered territory; being persecuted for their faith.
Their fear makes them stop and ask, “Lord, before we press on, is this really from You?” And The Lord says to them 365 times, “Yes. It’s me.” Or more precisely, “Don’t be afraid, I’m with you.”
I suddenly realized the incredible value of fear.
It is not something to be ashamed of, ignored, or condemned. Rather it’s a healthy emotion created by God. When we are scared, we slow down, become cautious, pay attention.
It’s the perfect time to pray. “Lord, is this thought true? Is it loving; is it You? Is it helping me or hurting me? Is it saving my skin or stopping me from stepping through my very best life? Is this You or is this the enemy?”
Satan depends on our fear. That is precisely what he wants, for us to live in fear.
That’s exactly why we need to seek God vigilantly in our fear to learn where it’s coming from.
But what does life look like with no fear at all?
To fear nothing? No cause for a pause to consider what God might be showing us? To never humble our hearts? To never ask God what’s going on and where He wants us to go?
It looks like total self-indulgence.
It’s a good thing you and I don’t have to worry about that, right? Because we’re scared sometimes. And that’s a good thing- a cause for a pause.
Lord God, this might be a little bit of an awkward prayer but we know that you will understand it. We want to thank you for giving us fear. I know it sounds weird, but thank you for giving us a reason to pause and make sure that it’s really you who is causing it. Lord, we pray that if it’s not you then help us to take control over that fear. We pray that you humble our hearts and that we seek your will in everything that we do. God thank you for everything that you have ever done for us and all that you will ever do for us. Here’s to being afraid sometimes. And may you use it to make us awesome!
Will you pray with us?
Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation
All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel
For all military personal serving our country and their families
Those in Leadership positions throughout the world
Lord, today we come to you with HAPPY hearts. We are so grateful that you give us the opportunity to change the lives of those around us. We are grateful that you give us the wisdom to change our lives and the lives of those around us. And you make it so simple. We can do it with a single smile. God today I would ask that you help us to smile more. The next time we see someone down, help us to smile for them. The next time we are down, help us to remember that you gave us the best gift ever. The ability to know you, your son, and the holy spirit. God, we are so grateful for everything you give us.
We ask all these things in your Precious Son's Name
A Little More
The other day I got a call from one of our clients.
I love talking to our clients so I always smile when I answer the phone.
“Hey Dan, one of my drivers is pulled over and they are saying that our permit doesn’t cover what we weigh. Isn’t that why we hire your team to make sure that these things don’t happen!”
My smile immediately vanished.
I was shocked because my team is amazing. and it’s not like them to miss something like 20,000 lbs on a permit.
So, I asked him, “Who have you been working with, and who was the one who called our team to get the permit?”
To get to the bottom of the problem I needed the details.
They gave me the details.
My next call was to my team. Then after I got the details I got them started on getting new permits to get the problem fixed. I’m a solutions guy, not an excuses guy.
But I NEED to know the real reason why it happened so that we can fix the issue.
My next call was to the driver so that I could see exactly what happened.
I knew he was going to be upset. He was pulled over and they were going to give him a HUGE ticket. I wouldn’t be happy either.
I made sure not to smile when I made the call. I had a serious look on my face. As we chatted I learned that he was the person who gave his weight to our team. I asked where he got the weights from and how in the world they were off by over 20K lbs!
That’s when he told me that he might have gotten the wrong scale ticket from the weigh station where he originally weighed.
Immediately my heart leapt with joy, this is NOT our fault!
Now to get the problem resolved and get this driver back on the road was my only goal. I was not going to assign blame or make anyone feel bad.
Hey, we all make mistakes. I do it multiple times every single day.
The owner of the company shot me a text. I'm getting permits from the big guys. They won’t make these mistakes that cost me time and $$$$$.
No problem. Let me know if you need anything. We are here to help.
After they called the “BIG Guys” they called me about 30 minutes later.
Hey, we can’t get an Idaho permit until Monday. It’s Friday night. And we need to drop this load off tomorrow afternoon.
I told him that I would NOT make any promises.
But my team went to work!
We got the permits that the “BIG Guys” couldn’t get.
My team had the Idaho permit in less than 20 minutes. For the right weight this time.
Here’s the point of all this.
When things don’t go right, smile. I have taught my whole team this.
That right there is how we got the permits. They smiled as they worked and it didn’t take any time at all.
Ok, there might be a little knowledge that went into this too. Lol
Next time you need anything DOT, don’t call the “Big Guys” , call the team who can get it done!