As a mother of five kids, I have heard the phrase, “I’m afraid of____” numerous times. This phrase is not just limited to children. I would venture to say that even as adults, we have said or at least thought it from time to time. However, as adults, those fears have changed. We are no longer afraid of the dark, bugs or the monster that is hiding underneath the bed; instead we are afraid of failure, what others might think or our lack of knowledge. Just like I want to calm the fears in my children, God longs to calm our fears. In fact, the phrase “fear not” is stated in the Bible 366 times, that is one for every day of the year and an extra one for those really tough days. God continually reminds us not to fear because we were not created to live in fear — “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). We can not let our fears control our lives and hold us back from our God-given purpose. Think of it this way, all of life is a giant puzzle and each one of us is a piece in that puzzle. Only God knows what the whole picture will look like when all the pieces are in place. However, some of us make the choice to stay in the box. We are safe there. We do not have to worry about any thing. People in the box begin to wonder why their lives are dull and empty. Fear was not part of God’s design for His children. However, because of the choice of those to stay in the box — out of fear — they are not being used by God and others can not fit into the puzzle right away. Yes, I will agree that making the choice to step “out of the box” is a risky one, but it also allows us to be used by God and see His rewards. Like Peter, we have to rely on our faith and step out into a world of possibilities. We were created to live by faith and in God, we have the power of the Holy Spirit for a faith that is stronger than our fears. Therefore, I challenge everyone, whether you are laying out on the table or in the box hiding, pray that you will be used by God this week. I would love to hear how God is using each and every one of you.