I heard a story of a firefighter who climbed up a five story ladder to rescue a woman hanging out a flame engulfed apartment building. As smoke billowed from the window, the woman screamed and coughed and begged for the firefighter to hurry. The ladder lurched into place and the firefighter met her on the sill.
“It’s okay!” he said. “Just listen to what I want you to do. I need you to climb out of the window and onto the ladder and we’ll both go down together.”
The woman’s eyes went wide. She looked at the firefighter, looked down and the five story drop, looked back at him and said, “I can’t do it! I’m afraid of heights!”
“It’s okay. I’ve got you,” he said.
“No,” she yelled, “you don’t understand. I get sick even walking up stairs. I’m not coming with you because I’m too afraid.”
The firefighter thought for a moment and said, “Do it with fear!”
They both made it down together.
I love that line, “Do it with fear!” Too often, we wait to have that conversation or venture out into something new because we are waiting for all fear to disappear. What if fear is a good thing? What if the adage “overcome your fear” is an impossible statement keeping us from doing something with fear.
That kind of healthy fear keeps us alert as we open a business. That kind of healthy fear keeps us humble as we encourage someone with our faith in God.
Here are three ways to more forward with fear.
- Realize that fear, at some level, is part of our human experience.
- Visualize fear as a traveling companion, there to give advice but NOT to hold you back.
- Know that God’s perfect love casts out the fear of wondering if He loves you.
Whatever fear is holding you back, do it with fear.