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A month or so ago, I signed up to review a book for Thomas Nelson. They were releasing Max Lucado’s newest book, “Fearless”, on September 8, and said they would send me a copy of the book if I agreed to review it on my blog. I love Max Lucado’s writing and welcomed the opportunity to read and write about his newest release.

The promotional materials they sent talked a lot about fear (obviously!). The back cover of the book mentioned words such as dread, insecurity, and doubt. I have to be honest here and say … I kind of thought … well, I’ll read it, but I’m not sure fear is really one of the things that really causes me to struggle.

I mean, I worry, sure…who doesn’t? But fear … I don’t know.

And, as I mentioned last week, we went to the lake over the weekend to celebrate my moms 70th birthday. The surprise of the trip was that when we got there, my parents had a new (to us) ski boat. Having grown up on the lake and skiing, I was excited to see our kids continue the boating tradition.

On our first trip out to ski and ride in the inner tube, my sister took over the boat. I don’t remember anyone asking her or offering for her to drive the boat, but there she sat in the drivers seat steering the boat across the lake. My children were tied behind the boat….being drug through the lake on a large inflatable water toy.

And I was overcome with fear.

Fear that my sister was too interested in watching behind the boat to see what was coming in front of the boat. Fear that she would be watching the front of the boat and forget that my kids were behind us. Fear that she was getting too close to other boats. Fear that she was driving too close to the shore.

Honestly, I wanted to throw up.

My girls rode behind the boat and the entire time I was miserable. Gripped with fear. And when it came time for Bill and Jacob, my husband and son, to ride the inner tube … I couldn’t take it anymore. This was my Alpha and my Omega, my beginning and my end, about to be drug around the lake with a driver I couldn’t place my confidence in.

And I spoke up.

I said … “at the risk of making you angry (and I’m sure I did), I don’t want you to drive the boat anymore with my kids on the back”.

To her credit, she didn’t balk and traded places with my dad.

IMMEDIATELY I was fine. Completely fine. I didn’t even have to watch. I didn’t have to worry about what was in front of the boat or about the people tied to the back … I knew my dad had it under control. I didn’t worry, I didn’t dread, I wasn’t insecure … I wasn’t afraid. I had complete faith that it was going to be fine.

And please hear me…it wasn’t anything against my sister at all…it’s just that my dad has driven me around the lake … oh, about a gizillion and seven times. And I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was in control. He’d been there and done that and I had no cause for alarm.

And I realized this … and it’s the crux of Mr. Lucado’s book … we all fear. At some time or another and some people more than others. There are times we feel out of control, filled with angst, dread and worry … but those are the times we need to make sure we know who is driving the boat, so to speak. We need to make sure Christ is steering the ship and determining in which direction we are going. He can see what is on the horizon …. things we cannot even see. He also knows what is tied to our boat. And yet with Him steering, we don’t have to be afraid.

I cannot explain the peace I had when my dad started driving the boat. Just like I can’t fully explain the fear I had when my sister was driving it. But the analogy to me couldn’t be more clear. Know the captain well, spend time with the captain, put your trust in the captain … and you’ll make it back to shore.

Max Lucado puts it this way: “When Christ is great, our fears are not”. He also shared the quote … “courage is just fear that has said it’s prayers”. Here’s the deal, the lake will get choppy, storms will come, you are going to get splashed and sometimes you may get soaked … but when you have faith in the captain, there is no need to panic. No need to freak.

I once read that in the Bible the phrase “do not be afraid” is mentioned over 365 times. Do you see?!? … One time for each day of the year. “Fearless” states “the one statement he (Christ) made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid.” Fear causes us to lose our confidence in God’s goodness. As the book states, “fear, at it’s center, is a perceived loss of control”. It “dulls our miracle memory and makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is.”

I felt out of control when my sister was driving the boat. I knew I didn’t want to drive the boat. And the calm I felt when my dad took over … well, it’s not unlike the calm I feel when I let Christ take over.

The key is remembering to let Him always have control. Let Him steer me through the storms … let Him get me to shore.

Although “fear may fill our world”, Lucado says, “it doesn’t have to fill our hearts.”

Just so long as you know the Captain … and put your faith and confidence in Him.


I think you will enjoy the book as much as I did. My copy is staying on my shelf … it’s the kind of book I will read again and again. And I’d love to give one of my blog readers a copy. Leave a comment in the comments section (emails don’t count) and I’ll announce a winner on Friday. Good luck!

Comments: #

Deanne - Sep 3, 2009

Have a little more faith in your sister. I’m a sister also and it would really bother me if Andrea didn’t have faith that I would care for her kids/family as much as my own. I don’t know that it would anger me as much as hurt me. I know you can’t really say where the fear comes from, but the same place that you get your peace you should find your faith. I understand that our daddies are special and they have cared for us all our lives and it is natural for us to look to them for comfort and confidence and so on. But our whole families are gifts from God and there should still be some measure of faith in all the members.

rootsandrings - Sep 3, 2009

To comment on Deanne’s comment- I don’t think your fear for your sister’s driving was personal. I think that’s the thing about fear. It’s often completely irrational. I’m sure that deep down you knew that you sister could keep your kids safe. Fear just sneaks into our lives and disrupts things that would normally be going just fine.

Darla - Sep 3, 2009

Let me see if I can clarify … I didn’t NOT have faith in my sister … I was just scared. Why? Because she had never driven the boat with my kids behind it before. My dad had done it as far back as I could remember. That history, that relationship allowed me to not give it a second thought. The analogy I was trying to make (clearly poorly) was not that I didn’t trust my sister, but that in the same way I had that confidence in my earthly Father … I can have the same in my Heavenly Father.

I would trust my sister FULLY with my kids … completely … in fact, if something happens to Bill and I, she is who we have selected to care for them.

And if this makes it any more understandable …. I think her husband was as scared as me and I know Bill was … and I’m not sure if my dad was scared…but more than once he had to tell her to back off the boat docks so as not to swamp the docked boats.

This may be another poor analogy, but I totally trust the girl who cuts my hair. When she had a baby over the summer and someone else had to do it, I was nervous. Not because I didn’t trust her … I just didn’t have the history with her … no track record.

Hope that makes sense.

Deanne - Sep 3, 2009

I totally reacted as a sister and probably should have rethought my comments before hitting the “post” button. I completely understand the analogy. Sorry to have jumped so hard in the water.

patricia - Sep 4, 2009

When Greg lost his job 6 days before Christmas last year and we were living/stuck in the Middle East, I was scared. Fear would have put it mildly. I am interested in reading the book. I knew when it happened that God would take care of us but still, I had three scared children and a husband who was shaken. I will pick up the book over here though as I’m not sure it would make it through customs. :)

LindaD - Sep 6, 2009

I realized a few years ago that I was letting my fears control me so I started “Doing Hard Things” on purpose to step out and face those fears…I have learned to swim, jumped off a diving board, given my testimony to a large group, done a commercial, tried my hand at climbing a waterfall (which did not work out so well), and others.

All of these hard things required me to depend on God more and more. Most of them I did while I was still afraid, but I did them anyway trusting in the Lord.

Thanks for sharing Darla.