“The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me?” Psalm 118:6 CSB
I found this short story, called Dope on a Rope: Motivation to Overcome Fear when I was looking for an example of overcoming fear:
There once was this criminal who had committed a crime. He was sent to the king for his punishment. The king told him he had a choice of two punishments. He could be hung by a rope. Or take what’s behind the big, dark, scary, mysterious iron door. The criminal quickly decided on the rope. As the noose was being slipped on him, he turned to the king and asked: “By the way, out of curiosity, what’s behind that door?” The king laughed and said: “You know, it’s funny, I offer everyone the same choice, and nearly everyone picks the rope.” “So,” said the criminal, “Tell me. What’s behind the door? I mean, obviously, I won’t tell anyone,” he said, pointing to the noose around his neck. The king paused then answered: “Freedom, but it seems most people are so afraid of the unknown that they immediately take the rope.”
How true this story is, we go with what we know and are sure of, instead of what we do not know. Our big, dark, scary, mysterious iron door may be a new job, a new relationship, a new place to live. People stay in jobs they hate because they are too afraid to look for a new one. People remain in toxic relationships because it’s what they know, they’re afraid of a healthy one because it’s unknown. People stay in the same place all of their lives, because they are too afraid to explore the world. But these moments in life where fear of the unknown stops us is where faith intersects our lives. When we have faith that God is with us, we can let go of the rope and choose the mystery of the door. We can open the door with confidence, knowing God is with us, no matter what lies behind it. We can move out of the known into the adventure of the unknown, because even if we fall, God will catch us.
We’re driving along I-40 in Oklahoma as I’m writing this. I’ve never been to Oklahoma before. When we left on this trip, I was afraid to be so far from home. I was afraid of what we would find, the people we would meet, the things that “might” happen to us. I had to capture my thoughts and step out in faith that all would be well. All is well, God is with me, and Oklahoma is flat. The people are people, just like back home, living their lives day by day, just like everyone else. What “might” happen is life. Living the life God has given us, one day at a time. Going where He leads us, meeting who He puts in front of us, all of it done without fear, because He is the one driving. If I had grabbed the rope, I wouldn’t be in Oklahoma writing a devotional. I needed courage to choose the door, God gave it to me. Whatever door you’re in front of today, choose it. Let go of the rope, follow God into the mystery of life.