Right now in the organization that I work, we are in the process of setting our goals for the new financial year. Lot of work is happening in terms of finalizing a strategy, deciding priorities which would help the goal setting process. In our personal life as well, we do our own goal setting. It can be anything from losing 5 kilos to buying a house, from getting a new dress to getting married. I too had one very important personal goal to achieve. Every birthday, New Year, Christmas would be a deadline I would set for myself to reach this goal. But over the last few years I have been missing the deadline over and over again. Wondering what this goal was? Well, it was to learn driving and get myself a car.
It might seem like a very simple goal for most of you. Driving comes naturally to many. But, not so for me. It was one of my biggest fears, which I have been battling for more than a decade now! I made progress now and then, but then some incident (read accident) or other would happen because of which I would give up. I had almost resigned to the fact that I would never be able to drive.
A few years back, this was not the only fear I had. There were so many of them. But, after coming to know God in a deeper way and while reading the Bible I came across a very beautiful verse which said, “Perfect love drives away all fear.” I realized by then, that God loves me perfectly, whereas my love for Him was nowhere close to being perfect. I understood that all the fears I had were because of lack of this perfect love and trust in God. I started praying and surrendering them to God, asking for His help to overcome my fears. He started working and soon I was no longer afraid or worried about most of the things. And driving also joined that list. Last month, I got my driving license and a car to drive. I still have a long way to go. I’ve dashed the car twice, still not comfortable at driving in peak traffic, still honk a lot, still leave my fellow motorists annoyed, but I know it will get better. If with God I could overcome this much, the remaining will happen soon too. A few months back I could not even imagine seeing myself sitting behind a steering wheel, but God made it possible.
I realized one thing - fear is so ingrained in all of us. And it is this fear that prevents us from loving God perfectly. God knows the importance for us to rise over all this and thats why He asks us not to be afraid. Not once, not twice, not thrice, but hundreds of times throughout the Bible, God tell us “Do not be afraid.” (Genesis 15:1, Exodus 20:20, Isaiah 35:4, Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 1:8, Deuteronomy 31:6,Deaniel 10:12, 1Chronicle 28:20, Zephaniah 3:16, Haggai 2:5, Matthew 10:28, Luke 1:13, John 14:27, Mark 6:50, Act 18:9, 1Peter 3:6, Revelation 1:17........ and many more). He couldn’t have been more clear or direct in telling this to us. Whether its fear of darkness, fear of heights, fear of speaking in public, fear of performing on stage, fear of driving, fear of animals, fear of a particular person, fear of sickness or disease, fear of failure, fear of taking responsibility, fear of losing a loved one, fear of loneliness, fear about financial insecurity, fear of uncertain future, fear of ambiguity, fear of death…..; no matter what we are afraid of, He tells us just one thing - “Do not be afraid.” Let’s listen to His words, surrender our fears - from the biggest to even the smallest ones - to Him, ask His help to overcome it and make efforts to make lesser room for fear and more room for a perfect love for Him.
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives away fear,…, those who fear do not know perfect love.” – 1 John 4:18.