This morning I was reminded of something that happened several summers ago.

Bryson, Brailee and their parents stayed with me for a few days. A friend of theirs had loaned them one of those commercial bounce houses. The kids were beyond excited as we planned an entire weekend of fun, food and games.

Bryson loved bounce houses and has always had them at his birthday parties. However, at the time, it was Brailee’s first bounce house. She was small, I don’t remember her age, maybe 3 or 4 years old.

Oh, my goodness, did she love it!

We could not keep her out of it. If Bryson wanted to go inside and take a break for a minute, she would stand at the door and yell, “BRYSON!!! BRYSON!!! COME ON, BOUNCE…BRYSON!!!” It was too cute.

On Saturday they played for hours. At one point, Brandon got in the bounce house to play with them while Breanne and I took a break. We were sitting on the porch swing, talking, while the bounce house moved up and down, from all the bouncing. All of a sudden, the bounce house began tipping over and falling to the side. We both ran for the kids at the same time. Brailee and Bryson were screaming and panicking. Brandon was trying to get them out. Breanne was trying to get them out. I was trying to set the house back up so they could get out. Breanne was yelling, “push! Mom!”

It quite an ordeal for a few minutes. However, we got them all out safely, set the house back up and life was back to normal. Almost.

Bryson was over the drama in just a few minutes. We talked with him and told him not to panic at times like that, to stay calm and just work his way out. He understood and was ready to jump again…but not Brailee.

She would not go near the bounce house, she stood on the porch and cried, “oh no, we broke it” for the rest of the day.

Sunday afternoon, Bryson, Brailee and I were home by ourselves for a few hours. I decided to try to get Brailee to jump again. She had enjoyed it so much before the accident and I wanted her to enjoy it again. I wanted to replace the fear with some fun.

For over an hour, I tried to talk her into it. Then I just picked her up and carried her in. All the while, she was terrified, clinging to my neck.

Bryson was jumping and playing and sliding. He was having a great time, but Brailee remained paralyzed with fear.

As I sat there, I thought how sad it was that she was not enjoying her day because of fear. Then God began to speak to me.

God began to show me that there are millions of people who don’t enjoy life or who refuse to live their lives to the fullest simply because of fear.
Something has happened to them, one incident, large or small and they have allowed that thing to paralyze them and cause them to not enjoy the things they once loved. They have instead chosen to live a safe life, far away from even the chance of anything bad happening. Just like Brailee, they are in essence, sitting on the porch, missing all the fun. Crying because of one little incident in the scheme of life. Crying over what is broken instead of getting back in there and enjoying life.

That day caused me do some deep heart searching. I wanted to know what fears were stopping me from moving forward. What fears are causing me to not enjoy the fullness of life that Jesus died to give me? What fears are stopping you today?

2 Timothy 1:7 says; God has not given us a spirit of fear.

Today, in this season, many of us feel as if our house has tumbled in on top of us. The last few weeks have been difficult. Challenging. Uncertain, is the word I keep hearing, from those around me.

If this time has allowed a spirit of fear to come into your life, the time to deal with it is now. God has NOT given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. If you are experiencing fear today, it is not from God. It is the devil who wants you to live in fear.

It is not God who wants you afraid to look at people in the store. It is not God who has brought this social distancing to the point that people do not even talk kindly to one another. No, that is not God at all. God is LOVE. And if we are not showing love and kindness, we are not showing God. It’s that simple.

Fear is a powerful thing. It will stop you in your tracks. It will paralyze you. If you don’t get a hold of it in the beginning, it will dominate your life. That being said, fear is nothing compared to faith. Faith will overcome fear every single time.

I have good news for you. Even in this midst of all this happening right now, we can and should have faith. Faith that God is true to His word. Faith that the shed blood of Jesus is more than enough to keep us safe. Faith that no weapon formed against us can or will prosper. Faith in His faithfulness.

Friends, don’t allow fear to rule your mind or your emotions. Choose faith. Choose to trust God in the very midst. Okay, so perhaps it appears our bounce house toppled over. Push it back up again. Get back in there and enjoy the life God has given you. Jesus CAME that you might enjoy life, to the full, until it overflows.

Don’t allow the enemy or any fear to take that from you. Do not give him that power. Determine in your heart that you are going to enjoy this day and this week to the full, filled with life, peace and joy! Let nothing steal what God has given you….zoe life. Life to the full.

Meditate on this:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27