Breaking Through

Today’s scripture: I Kings 18:20-40 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

“How long will you go limping with two different opinions?” echoes in my mind after reading these verses. After all, isn’t indecision one of the most excruciating ordeals we ever go through? Especially when the issue is, “Can I trust God in this situation or not?”

Rain seems impossible when you’ve had three years of drought and famine. Many times, though, far smaller things seem impossible. For me, there was the time when, after years of putting it off, I took a speech class with the goal of getting rid of my fear of public speaking. I had been fortunate to have had positive experiences teaching short Bible lessons in small groups, but the thought of speaking to a large classroom of strangers seemed like a Goliath to me. It’s hard to explain how excruciating the feeling was when I would anticipate speaking. Stress can increase to a point that your body experiences great discomfort. All of that adrenal energy builds up in your body, and yet you are too scared to do much of anything! Shallow breathing and tense muscles cause focus to dissipate, thoughts to scatter, and resolve to crumble. It simply becomes hard to think clearly.

As I was driving to the classroom for the first speech of the semester, this torturous process reached the point that I decided I would drive to a nearby shopping center and walk around instead of going to class. Somehow, though, in my confused state, I changed my mind, turned my car around, and proceeded to go to class.

The speech went remarkably well. I wasn’t even that nervous by the time I gave it. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But, I think I know why. You see, up until the time I made the final decision to go to class, I was in the turmoil of indecision. I was wallowing between these two opinions:

  • OK, God, it feels like it’s going to be torture, but, with Your help, I’ll go give the speech — with You I can learn to overcome this fear, and
  • God, I’ve got to escape  – how pleasant the mall will be compared to walking into that classroom!

The longer this storm raged in my mind, the harder the speech seemed like it would be. But, when I made the decision to go ahead and go through with it, God was able to help me, because I was at least beginning to open myself up to the process of faith instead of fear.

So, what’s your big fear? Whatever it is God can help you press through the painful stage of indecision (analogous to hard, rocky soil) and emerge into the sunshine where you can learn and grow to become what God intends you to be. When we’re in the ambivalent stage, we are unstable (James 1:6-8). But when we’re in the faith stage, we are strong (I John 5:4b).

Thought for the day: Is fear keeping me from being what God intends? God, help me to stop “limping” with indecision. Help me to follow you, and to break through my fear.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.