The Fear of Matches


Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:2-3, NIV

At home we have an electric stove. We used to have a gas stove–I remember touching it by accident when I was a kid. The result was minor, but enough for me to remember, caution!

That was a long time ago. By the time I started doing things in the kitchen myself, we’d switched to an electric. I never had to use a gas stove; the thought of turning one on in Lima has scared me since we arrived, so for the longest time, I didn’t.

I avoided it. I stuck to cold foods when I got hungry–until today.

Something–Someone–told me to go do it.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9, NIV

Fun fact: I’m scared of matches. I light one and my hand starts trembling till I’m sure I’ll drop it. My decision to use the gas stove may seem small, but today I left my comfort zone.

It wasn’t without precautions. I made sure my brother was in the kitchen, thinking his presence would lessen the risk of myself catching fire. He figured out where to turn the knob when I had been doing it wrong.

I didn’t have to do this. I could have found something to eat that didn’t require use of a stove. But Something, a different fire, burned inside my heart, encouraging me. I knew that I could do it. If I didn’t, I would be disappointed in myself.

I decided to fry some eggs on the gas stove, matches and all. The fear was real. Small things can be your biggest chains. You won’t notice they’re a problem until a moment comes and you think, I have to do this.

Why? asks fear.

Because you can, says that little Voice your heart.

Face your fear, whatever it is. You could be scared of matches. You could be scared of wind. You could be scared of darkness or sleep. Don’t be ashamed: your fears may seem small to the outside world, but when you face them, you grow. And you can face them, with Him!

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7, NIV

It took eight matches and a good deal of panic before I got the stove going. If you’re accustomed to gas stoves, you might be laughing. I’m not: my hands were trembling. It was hard.

With His prompting I said, I am going to do this today. I made fried eggs and forgot to add salt, but they were still the most delicious I’d ever eaten. I was scared of matches, but I persevered. I pray the Lord will show me my next fear; with His help I’ll strike a match and burn it to the ground.