'There was a very cautious man who never laughed or played; he never risked, he never tried, he never sang or prayed. And when one day he passed away, his insurance was denied; for since he never really lived, they claimed he never died!' - Anonymous
One of the most beautiful songs I learnt at my Catholic primary school was 'Be Not Afraid' by Bob Dufford, S.J. It is one of the few I remember and any time I feel myself trembling on the inside, like the scaredy-cat lion with no courage, I sing it to soothe myself.
Now I'm a grown-up, I also pluck the Biblical passages out from my brain that complement the song, like Jesus calming the storm for the disciples (oh ye of little faith), or Isiah 41:13, "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"; or what David said to Solomon, his son: "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished." Then there's the more dramatic, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Jesus, Matthew 10:28), which puts things right back into perspective!
Jesus said, 'The one who fears is not made perfect in love.' The more we mature in our walk with Christ, the more evidence we will accumulate to support his absolute sovereignty in our lives, and as we cast off unnecessary worries, fears and anxieties, and supplement them for God's word, we learn to lean on him in absolute trust. But the fundamental part of it all is to understand how much you are loved, and that Jesus has taken the fall to help you walk in communion with God, your protector, comforter and guide, in all your days. I wish I had really understood that when I was 12 and worried incessantly about everything, but most especially what people thought of me: hide, hide away little self, then no one will realise you're not perfect!
Even now, when self-dependable, perfectionist, pain-in-the-buttski me wants to laud it over with thoughts of, 'Hey, you should be doing this' or 'You are quite crap', which steal the joy of living and working and feeling God's lovin', applying God's word is absolutely necessary (especially on the days when you just get the sense when everything is going to fall to... doggy doo). It's not winning that's important but the trying and getting back up and leaning on God when we fall. Then one day, you might just find, that there's more power in your life than you ever thought imaginable. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7)
Girl With a Satchel