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Church Planting Europe Field Story Germany

Fear Not!

"Remember all He told me and fear not. To keep my eyes fixed straight ahead. Hold on tightly to the promise and hold firmly to the truth, that He loves me."

This was it. This was the moment we’d all been anticipating, maybe even fearing. I, at least, was terrified! From the moment our youth pastor announced to us leaders that we’d be playing Whirlyball on the youth group fall retreat, I was scared of what might unfold over the weekend. For some, it was going to be the most exciting part, but for others, maybe even myself, it could be the worst.

As I stood looking through a window into a large room with two teams playing a game that was very unfamiliar to me, I didn’t know how to react. Since Whirlyball uses a lacrosse basket, bumper cars, and takes a lot of hand eye coordination, I knew my athletic abilities wouldn’t help me in this department. Would I be able to stay in control of the car while still keeping track of where the ball was? What would happen if I lost control of the car or spun around in circles for the entire game? What if I wasn’t able to score and be a team player? As my team walked onto the court and buckled ourselves into our cars, I knew all of these questions were about to be answered.

As it turns out, there was nothing to be afraid of! It did take awhile to get used to doing two things at once, but it was still fun. When I wasn’t able to maneuver the car in the right direction, it was alright, because no one else knew what they were doing either. To those watching, I’m sure we were very entertaining! In the end, not only was I able to help my team score, but we were also able to figure out a team strategy which helped us win several games. Whirlyball was amazing!

So why did I get myself so worked up? Why was I so afraid of how I might play or react in the game that it almost kept me out of the game completely? Honestly, it was because of the fear of the unknown. Since I didn’t know anything about the game, I began to fear and think about the “what ifs.”

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been reading through the story of Joshua and the Israelites. In the beginning of Joshua’s leadership, God gives him many instructions to lead the nation of Israel. Out of all the commands or directions God could have instructed Joshua to remember, the most important one was to “be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (NLT, Joshua 1:9). Joshua already knew he had a very large position to fulfill. Although he was capable and prepared for this role, God still reminded Joshua six times to have courage. In the years following all the battles which Israel fought, I’m sure Joshua recalled this promise many times. By recalling this promise, Joshua would be able to keep his full attention on God without being distracted by the little things.

Looking back at Whirlyball, I can see when I began thinking about the unknowns of the game and all the “what ifs.” I had become distracted, which resulted in me losing focus on the goal. I forgot that there was no reason for me to be afraid because God was with me. Even though this event was small in comparison to the battles Joshua and the Israelites fought, the lesson I learned is one that I will remember. This is to “Remember all He told me and fear not. To keep my eyes fixed straight ahead. Hold on tightly to the promise and hold firmly to the truth, that He loves me” (DiMarco, 2017).

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