Overcoming Our Fears

By: Bruce Olenchuk

Psalm 40: 1 & 4

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry… Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord…

What prevents us from sharing Jesus with others? For me the biggest impediment is fear. One thing I have noticed about fear is that the more you do something, the less fearful of it you are. The difficult part is taking that first step.

When I played baseball I was afraid of batting. I was always afraid of getting hit by the ball. I remember going to a summer baseball camp. The hitting instructor was a famous major league baseball player named Frank Thomas. He took us to a batting cage and made us face a pitching machine set at the highest speed. At first I was petrified. After a couple days of practicing in the batting cage though, I lost my fear of hitting.

The same is true in sharing our faith with others. At first it is uncomfortable and, for some, frightening, but once you put your trust in the Lord, he will give you the courage to do it. After 15 years in the electronics industry, I had obtained a staff management position. Things were looking good from a worldly perspective. One day I received a call from the manager of another group; he was looking for a person to join his team.

My first reaction was, “No way!” It had taken me too long to achieve my current position and this move would not help my career. I politely said that I was not interested.

As soon as I hung up the phone I heard the Lord say, “Why did you do that?” As I prayed, I realized that the Lord wanted me to take the job. I asked the Lord to forgive me for my lack of trust and to give me another chance.

The very next day the same manager called me back. He thought I may have changed my mind. The Lord had given me my second chance! This time I said “Yes”. My manager thought I was crazy for leaving a staff position for an unknown opportunity.

After a few months, I was beginning to believe he may have been right; things were not going well but I had decided to put all my faith in the Lord. I asked the Lord to show me why he had wanted me to move. Several months later, he answered my prayer. He showed me a coworker who was searching for him. We became friends and I helped him accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. A year later, he and his wife were baptized.

This experience taught me how faithful our Lord is when we trust him and give him our life. As Mother Teresa said, “God hasn't called me to be successful. He's called me to be faithful.


TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Am I fully open to whatever the Lord has in store for me? What factors into my decision-making process?