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Much Afraid
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Most people may never know it, because I can make a brave face when I need to. But I think you should know that deep inside my heart, I am Much-Afraid.

I’m not afraid of dark nights, or big storms. I’m not afraid of being home. I am not afraid to stand my ground when I need to. Sure, I have a couple irrational fears — like being on a roof peak or walking on a tall, swaying foot bridge. I’m a little scared of things like driving in big city traffic and talking to strangers. But I’m not talking about those things: I’m talking about the fears inside that few understand, the fears most people never even know I face.  I’m talking about the fears that hold me back from my goals and dreams, and make me long for straight feet and a stronger heart.

It was when I was still very much a child that I started to realize where my fears came from and what they were. I wasn’t afraid of the journey, the hardships or the conflicts so much as I was afraid of failure, rejection, and defeat. It was subconsciously much easier not to try than to have to say that I couldn’t make it. I was afraid of the unknown, and of the things that I couldn’t be sure I’d succeed at.

Much of My Own Story

I was 14 when a friend handed me a copy of Hind’s Feet on High Places. I read Much-Afraid’s story for the first time; I also read much of my own.

My stumbling feet, my fearful heart, and the journey that God had chosen for me sometimes feels a lot like the journey that the Shepherd planned for Much-Afraid. There were deserts that seemed to lead far away from the life I thought I was called to and there are journeys by the sea of loneliness that seem like they will never end. There are altars on which to sacrifice my stubborn pride and sometimes my dreams. These are the chances I have to let God change my Much-Afraid heart into “Acceptance with Joy”.

It is a long journey. Much-Afraid wasn’t changed from a fearing cripple and given hind’s feet overnight. And even though I am not as afraid as I used to be, I know I will be battling my fears at every step. Like Much-Afraid, every step ahead is about choosing to let go of fear, and to trust that God’s way is perfect. It is learning to trust the will and way of God in the endless desert of life’s disappointment and by the lonely sea of rejection. It is in the valley that we come to trust our Lord on the heights of the mountains.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness"  (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Our God delights in taking our weaknesses and turning them into strength. For each one of us “Much-Afraids”, this promise was written. Believe it, count on it, and live your life like it is real, because it is.

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By Chantel Brankshire. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

Reference:  Hind’s Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard

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