I know a place
Ain’t nobody cryin’, ain’t nobody worried.
Ain’t no smilin’ faces…
I’ll take you there
These are the lyrics of the song made popular by the Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There.” I don’t exactly know that place they sang about. Where is the hidden place they were going? Can there actually be an earthly place with no tears? No worries? Where is the place where dreams are fulfilled?
I stood outside a few months ago and watched the storms roll in. Clear skies were replaced by threatening, shadowy clouds. Fierce winds whipped the trees, pelting the ground with hail the size of quarters. It was fascinating. Whatever stockpile in heaven where hail was stored, must have been nearly empty.
“Mom, I forgot to tell you,” my daughter said. “You traded Midwestern snow storms for sunnier weather, but you may occasionally have to run for cover.”
In some ways, the storm opened my eyes. Our lives are much like that squall. Life is a passage from sunshine to rain. From balance to shakiness and back again. Our dreams can take us on a wondrous journey. It is our dreams that transport us into the perfect future God designed for us.
Often, the storm that devastates our dreams is this: our fears. Fear paralyzes. We fear being sick, forgotten, sad, heartbroken, alone or destitute. We fear being childless, homeless, demoted, undervalued, unappreciated, friendless or jobless. Some days we fear a combination of all the above.
Here are three simple affirmations for living an extraordinary life. We can each put a stop to the self-defeating fears that destroy our dreams:
- I am full, strong, joyful, healthy and chosen. I will stop imagining the worst—My fears are a battleground. Sometimes the thing I fear the most is what I create with my imagination. I refuse to get lost in the ordinariness of envisioning the most terrible thing that can happen.
- I dwell in God’s presence. I am never alone—The Creator of the universe cherishes me. My connection with God is the divine solution to my fears. Because I was created in His image, God has gifted me with His presence and with the power to overcome fear. That spark of divinity is the place from which I unfurl my greatest dreams.
- I claim all of God’s promises—I can tune in to God and His promises. I believe that I am the joyous, triumphant recipient of all that has been promised.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”
Isaiah 41:13 (English Standard Version)