Lent–What Are You Afraid Of?

CrossEaster is my favorite holiday. I love spending the period of Lent focusing on my faith as we build up to Holy Week. And then there’s Communion on Maundy Thursday, the utter desolation of Good Friday, and the perfect joy of Easter. It’s a time of year rife with meaning and what a story with the best ending ever. I do love a good story.

So, as we begin this season with Ash Wednesday in two days, it’s time to think about how I will spend Lent. Last year, instead of giving something up I worked on adding the fruit of the Spirit. It was wonderful. So I racked my brain to think of something equally meaningful for 2014. And then it came to me. There is something I need to give up for Lent.


Man, and I thought French fries were hard.

I’m not a terribly fearful person, but my life is littered with little (and a few not so little) fears. Fear of failure, fear of being disliked, fear of appearing foolish, fear of bridges (well, just the really high, narrow ones), fear of being stung by a bee (hello, I had an allergic reaction once), fear of–well–that’s enough for now.

And why am I afraid? I think it basically boils down to a fear of being uncomfortable. I don’t want to suffer–not even a little bit. But God had a few things to say about the benefits of suffering, didn’t he?

As I’ve pondered this idea of giving up fear for Lent, it’s occurred to me that the opposite of fear isn’t courage. It’s FAITH. Faith that momentary failure leads to future success. Faith that being disliked by people doesn’t matter so long as I’m loved by God. Faith that God isn’t going to let me fall off a bridge. Faith that even if I do get stung by a bee, God will take care of me. After all, He promised to.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Tune in next Monday as I report back on week 1 of giving up fear.

Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

8 thoughts on “Lent–What Are You Afraid Of?

  1. This is a VERY GOOD idea! I admit that my life is full of these little fears that just slow me down both spiritually and mentally. When I became a Christian, I shed some of the big fears, but these little ones still oppress me. And I don’t think they are pleasing to the Lord, either.

  2. Go, Sarah! Love this!

    God doesn’t want us to live a life of fear and timidity. We may know this, but we can’t fully realize it because of our limited, finite thinking.

    What’s “little” to one person is possibly BIG for another. I pray I’m never dismissive when others need a shoulder. The sum of even the little fears can paralyze a person for life.

    Bottom line: we’re all afraid. Of something. That’s why He’s so important to me. When my thinking gets skewed, He grounds me through faith. Every single time.

    1. I try to remember that when a friend is frightened by something that doesn’t phase me. We all have our issues and what’s easy for me may be nearly impossible for you and vice versa. My “quirks” keep me from getting cocky!

  3. I love this, Sarah. I find that there is a common, human thread in your writings that I deeply appreciate, even if I come from a different place with regard to faith/belief. I am also working on giving up some fears and letting myself be open to the challenges – and rewards – of purposely making myself uncomfortable.

    One project that I started on this past weekend was to clear out some stuff that was just gathering dust in our house – I overcame the fear that “I might need that someday” and the discomfort of having to acknowledge that I can’t just keep everything “in case”. I found a better use for it by donating it to the animal sanctuary / thrift shop. Now, I have more space and the thrift shop has some stuff to sell. It feels good now that it’s out of my hands.

    1. Oh–there’s another one of mine I didn’t even think about! I have clothing items I haven’t worn in 5+ years, but can’t quite bear to part with. Last week I donated a towel rod (still in the package) that I bought in 2000 and still imagined we might use one day. I think you’ve just inspired me!

  4. Excellent choice which could benefit each of us, but oh so hard to carry out. Especially when we have carried some of those fears for decades and decades.

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