Written by Rose Ennin of Toronto, ON
Have you ever been asked to complete a task you didn’t think you would be able to complete? An assignment that made you think there was no way you could fulfil it? I remember the feeling vividly. There were times when I sat down to reflect on the depth of my responsibilities and had to admit I was in over my head. I did not think it was something I could complete in the time given or produce at the level of quality that was expected.
In such moments, fear and anxiety began to well up. The task filled my mind and seemed to grow out of proportion with what it really was — fear exaggerated my inadequacies. The issue was not just about the task anymore, but fear turned the situation into a realization of what I could not do.
As I read the story of Moses, I saw that he could relate to how I felt. He was given a task (to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt) that from the outset he did not think he could complete. “Pardon your servant, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:25).
Fear has access to enter into our hearts when we take our eyes off God and look to ourselves.
There’s something similar in the story of Solomon. He finds himself next in line to the throne as King David’s son. His huge task was to build a temple for the Lord and govern the people of Israel.
Both Moses and Solomon had great tasks or callings before them. However, one of them complained and gave God excuses, while the other went against his fear and instead asked the Lord for a strategy to help him accomplish the mission. Reading both stories really challenged me to ask myself how I am handling the tasks in front of me. Do I sit and complain about why I am not fit for the job? Or do I stop fear from growing by asking God for help?
Fear has access to enter into our hearts when we take our eyes off God and look to ourselves. The fear of failure and rejection is a factor that can hinder our ability to proceed with confidence towards the very thing God has called us to do. Fear causes us to be afraid of messing up in such a way that it will cause people to respond with rejection — just the thought of it is enough to scare us from even trying.
But, in the words of Wayne Gretzky, “You will always miss 100% of the shots that you never take!” Fear causes us to miss out on all the opportunities we have to go on a journey of faith with God. The truth is that sometimes the task is hard. Yet, if it is a task you know God has given you, then it is a mountain He is calling you to climb to show others that it can be conquered. There are far more significant things we lose by yielding to fear than we prevent when we abide in it.
If you are like me and still have tasks you desire to accomplish before the end of this year, then let’s ask God for strategy to accomplish instead of giving excuses to get out of it.