What Are You Afraid Of?

What are you afraid of?Bethany Hamilton surely had some fear of crashing waves and flying boards.  Of smashing into rocks.  Of failing to compete well.  Maybe even of planes falling from the sky on the way to a competition.But sharks?  Sure, there are sharks in the ocean.  And occasionally they go after a surfer, but hardly ever.  Surely it wouldn’t happen to her.But it did.  And that shark took her arm.  Almost her life.  And certainly her surfing career.Bethany, though, is an exceptional young woman.  A fighter: “I don’t need easy.  I just need possible.”  She has not only recovered, but is surfing again.The movie Soul Surfer tells her amazing story of recovery, family, faith and determination.  Many have called it “one of the most inspirational movies I’ve ever seen.”Probably most of us won’t have a movie made of a defining event in our lives, but we do have opportunities every day to face our fears and live with courage and determination.What am I afraid of?  Heights and falling seem to top the list of the everyday fears.   Being accepted is still there, though less so as time goes on.  Health issues loom for the less-distant future now.  The biggest fear?  Safety and right choices for those I love, especially my children and grandchildren.But Jesus has a word for me and for you, expressed here and in many other admonitions to us:But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7)Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)Would I have the courage to overcome as Bethany did?    I don’t know, but I hope so.  For I have living in me the God of the universe who tells me over and over, ”Don’t be afraid.  Be strong and courageous.  I will give you all you need when you need it.  And I will always be with you.”What are you afraid of?C2011 Judy Douglass