Isaiah 41:13 (NIV) 13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. As a child, I was terrified of escalators. I knew that somehow, some way I was going to be swallowed up in one of those things on the last step. So, whenever an escalator was the choice, I cried and begged (ok…maybe threw a little tantrum) for my mom to take me to the elevator or regular ol’ stairs. For a couple of years she actually would take me to the elevator or stairs (better than little Cindy embarrassing her with a tantrum on a shopping trip!). But, one day my dad took me to the Sears store and told me that I had to take the escalator. He held my hand –while I held my breath—and had me ride up and down for what seemed hours. Holding his hand and knowing he was there to grab me before that last stair disappeared started to calm my fears and courage started to creep in. Soon I never worried about the escalator eating me and could actually hop on and ride the moving stairs without a hand. It became simply a means of getting me from here to there! As I’ve started taking time off from my position at Chapel Hill to discern God’s plan for my next steps in ministry, I’ve had to face the fear and confusion of not having a schedule. It has been very difficult. However, as my schedule has slowed, I’ve discovered that just as my dad held my hand on the escalator, God is holding my hand tightly as I journey this unknown territory. I don’t know where the “there” is, yet, but I do know that in His timing, He will reveal my next steps. As a leader and follower of Jesus, if there is something causing you to fear change, try to carve some extra time out of your schedule to face your fear or uncertainty. Ask a supportive friend or loved one to hold your hand and encourage you as you start to change and try something new. And of course, simply ask our Heavenly Father to hold your other hand and give you strength. He is simply waiting for you to ask — and I can tell you from experience, with Him holding you tightly, it is not as scary as you think.
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