by Shadia Hrichi
“Ha! We took bets on whether you could color outside the lines. The resounding answer was NO.” That was my friend’s response after seeing my first masterpiece.
I was home with the flu. My Bible study group kindly brought me groceries. Actually, they left the bag on the porch, rang the doorbell, and ran off. (Not that I blamed them). At the bottom of the bag, I found a “Princess” coloring book and crayons.
I laughed at those two items. However, by this time, I had been stuck in the house for over a week. Since it hurt my eyes to read, I began to color. But when I posted a finished drawing on social media, my friends teased me. “We knew you’d never color outside the lines!”
In my defense, I did add a cross on the Princess Sophia book. I decided it was time for the princess to meet Jesus.
Truly, I love my Bible study group. For weeks, they patiently listened to my frustrations regarding the Bible study I am writing:
“I just can’t seem to finish chapter five.”
“Why don’t you start working on chapter six?” someone asked.
“Because I want to finish chapter five.”
I like things to be done in order. It’s just wrong to write chapter six before finishing chapter five. Yet, they challenged me, “What if God has a different order in mind?”
I’ll admit it. I struggle for control. We all do. Perhaps in the workplace or relationships … even our health. But what if by clinging to our own way we miss something wonderful God has planned? What if all of this striving for control is precisely what keeps us from experiencing the Spirit-led life our hearts crave?
I’ve found that very often our struggles are not a control issue; they’re a trust issue. Control is an illusion. All of us are utterly dependent on God. Our very breath comes from Him. Stepping out in faith can be frightening. It may be a new ministry, marriage, trusting Christ for the first time (or writing a chapter out of order).
Do we trust God enough to “step out of the boat”?
As Jesus walked on the water toward his disciples, they were terrified. But when Peter recognized Jesus, he stepped out of the boat! “Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus” (Matthew 14:29 ESV).
We get so focused on verse 30, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink…”that we forget how Peter had the guts to step out of the boat! If you and I really want a Spirit-led life, we’re going to have to get out of the boat (or color outside of the lines).
We must face our fears, which look different for each of us. Below are some fears I struggle with, along with the Truth I pray to overcome them:
“God, I am afraid that if I “step out of the boat,” You will not be with me.” Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20 ESV
“God, I am afraid of what people will think of me.” Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?” (Isaiah 2:22 ESV).
“God, I am afraid that I will look foolish.” Blessed are you when people hate you … exclude you and revile you … on account of the Son of Man! ” (Luke 6:22-23 ESV).
God knows we are fearful creatures. But when we follow His call—even after a time of resisting—he is faithful to receive us with open arms.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Shadia Hrichi is a passionate Bible Teacher who loves seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. In addition to numerous articles, Shadia is the author of various Bible studies, including her latest study, TAMAR: Rediscovering the God Who Redeems Me, as well as LEGION: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me, and Worthy of Love: A Journey of Hope and Healing After Abortion. Shadia holds an MA in Biblical and Theological Studies, as well as an MA in Criminal Justice. Currently residing in northern California, Shadia regularly speaks at churches and women’s events and loves to visit the ocean each week for ”a date with Jesus.” Visit www.shadiahrichi.com
Join the conversation: Are you afraid to fail?