It’s amazing what you’ll discover if you start exploring what God has placed within you. I’m always astounded when I read an article about an eighty-year-old man who goes skydiving or something equally daring for his birthday. To us it seems amazing, but that man didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to jump out of a plane. You can be sure that he has been stretching himself and trying new things his whole life.
What are you doing to stretch yourself? I encourage you: don’t just sit back and wait for something to happen. Don’t let the curtain of fear drape your heart’s desires.
There’s a story about a woman who was newly divorced, almost penniless, afraid of public places, and trying to raise two teenage sons. After several tragedies in her life, she developed severe agoraphobia and was afraid to even leave her house. She searched her heart for ways to support herself and her two sons.
She loved to cook, and all she knew to do for income was to make sandwiches and other simple foods. With the help of her two sons, she found a few customers; but because she was so uncomfortable leaving the house, she had her two sons deliver the sandwiches. Her business quickly grew beyond the size of her kitchen, and she now faced a decision. Would she stand still and stop growing, or would she confront her fears and step outside her comfort zone? Though fear constantly nagged at her, she recognized that cooking was a desire that God had placed inside of her. As she sat in her house, she could imagine her business growing and began to see success. She made a decision to stretch herself — one step at a time. First, she decided to confront the agoraphobia that imprisoned her. Reaching deep inside herself, she was able to take a job as a chef at a local hotel, and once again she experienced tremendous success.
She was learning step by step that the gifts inside of her were seeds of greatness. A few years later, she opened her own restaurant, The Lady and Sons, right in the heart of Savannah, Georgia. The restaurant’s reputation quickly spread, and before long, the restaurant received national recognition.
Paula Dean’s restaurant was such a success that she eventually landed her own TV show, published cookbooks, and even had a role on the silver screen. Today she is one of America’s most beloved television chefs, and it all started when she realized that the power that dwelt inside of her was greater than the fear that held her back.
Oftentimes, people stay where they are in life simply because of fear. But do you know that fear isn’t reality? It’s only a thought in your mind. It’s just like that classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy arrived at the Emerald City, the great Wizard of Oz appeared to be all-powerful and mysterious, and he made everyone tremble. He seemed larger than life. But when Dorothy and her friends pulled back the curtain, the “wizard” was just an ordinary man blowing smoke and pushing a lot of buttons.
One of the most important things you can do in your life is to learn to pull back the curtain of fear so you can see it for what it really is — the enemy blowing a lot of smoke and pushing your buttons.
Look inside. Think about all of the things you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t because of fear. Whenever you’re tempted to doubt your ability to start something new and accomplish something, recognize that feeling as a symptom of fear — it’s not reality. Pull back that curtain of fear and believe that God is working in you and wants to do great things through you. You have seeds of greatness in you! I believe our lives as Christians should be the most exciting because we have the favor and blessings of God on our side!
So go ahead, start exploring those seeds of greatness inside of you. And dream big! God put those desires in your heart and nothing is impossible for Him. Take that step of faith, and as you do, be confident in this: God is with you every step of the way, however big or small, and will help you accomplish everything in His Great Name!
(Source: Joel Osteen Ministries)