Fear paralyzes us, but faith sets us free. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way lately, especially since I’ve been dealing with new food intolerances and allergies.
It’s funny how God works because what I bring in worry, my fiancé makes up for in faith. He’s the perfect balance for me in letting go of fear and learning to trust God in all things. I’ve been struggling with anxiety over food because of my history of digestive issues and my new food allergies. I didn’t have any allergies when I was younger, so the sudden onset is a little unnerving. Thankfully I have Josh to constantly remind me that I’m not allergic to everything.
I came across a simple quote on Facebook the other night, but it was so powerful. It caused me to pause for a minute and reflect on it. It said, “Fear does not stop death; it stops life.”
At least in terms of my food allergies, this was exactly what I needed to hear. My biggest battle with food, as well as my other fears, is mental. When I let my mind be consumed with worry over how my body will react to certain foods, I end up convincing myself that food is scary.
That is far from life giving and not the way God designed my body to respond to food, especially whole foods. I had to go from “I can’t eat anything” and feeling really down to really looking into what substitutions I can make in recipes so I have more options. And then it’s a matter of being brave enough to try them.
When I trust God and have faith that the allergy tests caught everything I’m allergic to, I’m more prone to find safe alternatives for things I can’t have. And then I worry less about what I eat and how I feel afterward.
The same principle can apply to anything. A fear of flying that keeps you from traveling. A fear of intimacy that keeps you from deeply connecting with others. A fear of commitment that keeps you from the blessings of marriage.
God often calls us into the unknown and the uncomfortable. We can choose to have faith and endure all things like the Apostle Paul, or we can shy away in fear and attempt to run like Jonah. And we all know how that story ends: Jonah does God’s bidding in the end! And I believe every situation we find ourselves in has a purpose, even my food allergies.
When we’re faced with undesirable circumstances that bring out our fears, we have to remind ourselves that God calls us to life. And Jesus came so that we might have life abundantly. Believers in my life have to remind me every now and then that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
When we let our fears bind us, we’re not living life to the fullest. There is so much freedom in letting go and trusting God that it’s a wonder we tend to forget what that’s like. It’s easy to fear, but it takes strength to live by faith.
What fears have you conquered by faith?