By Michaelene Browne
In the year 2001, I started Bible studies with the Caroni Bible Institute. During my sessions, the Word of God began to become very much alive and personal to me.
As we delved into each book, I could readily relate and parallel my own life through these words and stories.
The Book of Exodus, for instance, became so much like part of my own story, not just Moses’ story. I could identify a time in my own life and spiritual journey throughout this book.
I realised that I’d been living my life like the Israelites, wandering in my own wilderness. Years would come and years would go, and yet I felt like I remained in the same place, emotionally, financially, as well as spiritually. You see friends, for a very long time I had felt invisible. I felt like I was standing on the sidelines, watching everyone go along with their lives, as the escalator of life continued moving on.
I was crippled with fear, too afraid to get onto the moving steps of life. Afraid of where life would take me and, well, I was just bound to where I stood.
Fear does that to us. It cripples us. So much so, that it allows us to convince ourselves to remain imprisoned in our so-called comfort zones.
Moses sent out men on a reconnaissance mission, and because of their feelings of inadequacy and low self- esteem, they thought that the people they viewed were giants. Fear caused them to convince themselves as well as the entire community that they could not do what God told them they could.
I’ve been there. I’ve done that
These were the same people who had front row seats to the miracles of God. They’d witnessed all the plagues, the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day, the parting of the Red Sea and walking through on dry land. Yet fear caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
I can relate. I have also witnessed miracles through the years and I too did not believe in myself as God believed in me.
I’ve wandered in that wilderness of fear myself, until by God’s grace, I was empowered to talk myself out of very dark places and cross the ‘Jordan’ into my own promised land.
I learnt to speak God’s Word into my life. The psalms and scriptures have come more alive, more personal for me. They’re my own prayers now. I’ve begun to trust and believe more and to fear less.
And no, I’m not saying that I’m fearless. It’s always a work in progress.
Please remember that fear never gives up. It tries to rear its head always, always.
I’ve not mastered it yet, I have my moments when it gets the better of me, more times than I care to admit, really. Nevertheless, I am learning to shake myself mentally and spiritually. To use God’s Word in my defence. To build and fortify my faith. To break down Jericho walls with shouts of praise. Jericho walls that threaten to cut me off from my Master.
If you are wandering in your own wilderness, and fear may be causing you to be emotionally or spiritually crippled, take heart my brother, my sister. Believe in the One who is always on your side. He dispels fear. Trust Him. We may be small, but He is Mighty and bigger than the universe. He is the captain of our destiny. I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but what I have done is I’ve taken that first step out of the darkness and am moving step by step closer to the light. There may still be shadows around, but the closer to the light I go, they tend to dissipate. I’m less afraid cause I see them for what they are: shadows. Shadows cannot exist around me if I am dwelling in the light that is Jesus Christ.
I urge you to read and get into the scriptures. Internalise them. Make it your own story of death to life, darkness to light, slavery to freedom. From being mere subjects in the kingdom, to sons and daughters of the royal court.
His love and His grace are sufficient to bring us out of our wildernesses of fear, into His promises.