Free from fear

No longer a slave to fear...

Jesus is the Man who can, explains Jackie Walker.

“I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.”

These song lyrics have been personified recently in a young woman from our church.

I’ll call her ‘Lisa’. She came into our building with a friend about five years ago to meet my husband and I and talk about her desperate situation.

Her head was bowed down as she shuffled in, hidden in layers of dark clothes; she never made eye contact and, when she began to speak, it was a rush of anxious words which poured out almost inaudibly.

Lisa’s life was crippled by fear, her anxiety was so extreme that her work and every single area of her life was affected and restricted by it.

She was a slave in every sense of the word – not able to enjoy today and consumed by the fear of tomorrow.

Something, however, had brought her to this place of desperation where she remembered the love, care and compassion of a Christian work colleague.

Something prompted her to reach out. And that day Lisa’s transformation began.

Fast forward to Summer 2018 and Lisa is standing in our church sharing how she had just returned from a missions trip to Swaziland where she was able to pray for people, preach and teach.

This confident woman stood without notes bringing a clear account of her trip, dressed in brightly coloured traditional Swaziland attire.

She had overcome so much: her fear of people, the fear of flying, her fear of failing... you name it, it had made Lisa anxious, and yet here she was, the beautiful butterfly who had emerged from the cocoon.

It wasn’t an easy journey, nor an overnight change, but as the warmth of God’s love washed over her, Lisa began to melt.

I love real-life stories, of real people. Often as I look out at our church gathering, I see countless ‘before and afters’ – people whose lives are bringing glory to God.

That’s when the joy and excitement of serving Christ wells up in me. Could it be that God uses us in the process of transformation? He really does.

Never underestimate the truth of the fact that it’s not our ‘ability’ but our ‘availability’ that matters.

God will use you to bring about change in people’s lives if you are willing to hear and obey the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Lisa’s work colleague was the key to unlock God’s transforming power. I don’t think she would have described herself as an evangelist or a pastor or in ministry, but she ‘brought her friend to Jesus’ just as those men in the Gospels lowered their paralysed friend through the roof.

She acknowledged a change was needed, one she personally couldn’t do anything about, but in her inadequacy, in faith she brought her friend to ‘the Man who can’.

A huge weight of responsibility is lifted off us when we realise we are not the ones who have to change people or circumstances, we just have to introduce people to Jesus.

Lisa continues to grow in her relationship with God, and I smile every time I see her; she is free – living proof that God is still transforming lives today.
 

Jackie Walker is a member of the Aspire Team and serves with her husband in the church in Romsey.

First published in the February 2022 issue of Direction, Elim’s monthly magazine. Subscribe now to get Direction delivered to your home.

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