I had rattlesnake for dinner the other night. Rattlesnake and cactus “fries” to be exact. I was as brave and daring as Bear Grylls. True, mine was served on a dinner plate in a restaurant and I hadn’t had to kill the thing or eat it raw. It came fried and properly cooked. I was still brave though, especially given none of my fellow colleagues (including the locals!) were game enough to order the same and were just as excited to take photos of the dinner and me eating it as I was!
Actually, when it comes to food, I’m always up for a challenge. I’ve eaten snails, crocodile, Egyptian pigeon, an entire raw onion to name a few. As I child I even took to eating the occasional weed! No I wasn’t starved as a child, I just liked the tanginess of it! As it turns out eating weeds is a forgotten art currently undergoing a renaissance in French cuisine, so I may have just been ahead of my time.
So yes I am rather brave and daring when it comes to trying new food. Going to the dentist, having the flu injection and finding a spider is an entirely different matter. Petrified, fearful are definitely apt descriptions of how I feel when confronted with those. Feeling fear is normal however, an expected part of life. The challenge is do we live a life constrained by our fears? Do our fears become limits on what we experience? More importantly do we let our fears over ride the call of God on our lives and prevent us from walking into the fullness of the life that God has purposed us for?
I am reassured by how many times in the Bible God said “do not be afraid”, or “fear not”. I’m definitely not alone in feeling fear and am rather good company – Joshua, Gideon and Moses all had God encourage them not to be afraid. The key though, is that each time with the reassurance from God to not be afraid, the person had to walk through that which had scared or intimidated them. Action was required. They had to push through their fear. As much as I can’t ignore the need to go to the Dentist (eek!) I must respond to the call of God on my life and even though I am afraid, I must push past the feeling of fear and embrace what God has for me.
What is God telling you to not be afraid of? What is He asking you to do? Time to get your Bear Grylls on and be brave.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)