There’s a scene in Saving Private Ryan that still moves me when I think about it. It’s the part where the translator, Upham, stands frozen in the stairwell as his friend is attacked and eventually killed. When watching it the first time, all I wanted to do was scream “Do something!” at the screen. It’s a powerful moment.
I recently was reading in Exodus 14 about a time when the people of Israelite were frozen in fear. They’ve fled from Egypt and found themselves cornered at the Red Sea. The Egyptian army is advancing from behind. The people cry out to Moses in fear.
Moses’ response is simple. “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Apparently Moses wasn’t calm himself. In the very next verse the Lord says, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” I envision Moses telling the people to relax and then instantly turning around and panicking himself. God’s response? “Do something!”
I think we often get frozen with fear. We hesitate. We avoid making a decision. Maybe we’re waiting to hear a divine voice from above or we just cry out for direction. The simple, practical truth, however, is that we just need to act.
What has you paralyzed with fear? What are you doing about it?