Often times, fear is not something I think about, but sometimes it is a haunting presence that follows me throughout an entire day. This was my Wednesday. As I woke up to a phone call at 6:43, I was a bit in shock because I don’t typically get early morning calls like that unless there is an emergency. My alarm wasn’t even set till 7:15, so not only was I a bit freaked out, but also cheated a little on sleep. I wish this was the only case of shock and fear for the day… but it wasn’t. When I was walking out the door to head to work, I noticed a “small” tarantula about 2 feet from where I stood. I use the term small simply because in relation to other tarantulas, this one was smaller. So you can imagine how terrified I was by this very large spider that has taken up residence near my back door… it had to die, but that is a whole other story. Later that day before evening church, I took my trash out, which is a pretty mundane task, unless you are confronted by a shed snake skin. This is NOT okay. That skin did not shed itself, therefore, I have been terrified and on alert since Wednesday afternoon. I have been quite paranoid since finding this disgusting creature’s old skin. So to finish the day, I walked back home after church to get my car keys to park the car at the end of the day and something fell from the top of my glass screen door. I knew for sure it was that terrible spider coming back for revenge or the snake that I had seen the evidence of… but it wasn’t it was a 2 inch terrified little gecko. Once I parked the car, I just couldn’t step back outside. I was tired of all these scary encounters. Wednesday is now in the past, but the fear has yet to reside.
Now you should realize, I am still not used to living alone. All my life I was surrounded by family or roommates, so now when I hear a noise, and I do mean any noise in my house, I immediately seize up with fear of what it could have been. I constantly have to laugh at myself because cat noises from the strays that like to take run of my yard and driveway at night basically can render my catatonic. Yes, pun intended, haha. But I have to tell you I have never been this afraid of things before. I am constantly paranoid by random noises or various scampering from outside. Why do I allow this? I really need to toughen up. I am constantly reminding myself of the scripture from 2 Timothy 1:7 that says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” And God has provided, so why do we still struggle with fear?
I originally had a different blog in the works, but my Wednesday was so ridiculous, I felt God needed me to get this out rather than the other thoughts I had previously been writing on. Fear is a funny thing, in that it can begin to run your life even though you want nothing to do with it. Many people have reasonable fears, but they can begin to take away all that God has done and is doing.
I think of various stories from the scriptures of these people being overcome with fear and losing their focus from God. Moses was afraid to leave the life he knew and become the mouthpiece for God. He was making excuses because of His fear, but God would not allow His big plans to be foiled by a little fear. God ended up using Moses in mighty ways and helped Moses overcome these various shortcomings. There is also Peter who was afraid once he took a step of faith out onto that rocky water, but God didn’t allow this to take away from His power. Even though Peter showed fear in that moment, Jesus ultimately showed His power and got ALL of the glory.
The Rich Young Ruler is my last example of a person from the Bible that exhibited fear. The Rich Young Ruler was beyond wealthy and extremely intelligent. He knew the commandments that he was supposed to follow, and knew that Jesus would have the answers to his questions. So when he asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life, he thought he already knew the answers, but then Jesus terrified this Ruler. Jesus told him that besides following the commandments, he would also have to give up all that he had to inherit eternal life. As afraid as I was on Wednesday, I guarantee this man was more afraid. He just couldn’t fathom giving up all the money and wealth that he had acquired. He was inundated with the fear of this loss. He would lose his money, power, influence and livelihood. The problem with the fear that the Rich Young Ruler sundered from was that by him not relenting and giving up all that he possessed, he was willing to lose out on the eternal.
Isn’t that the problem with most fear? It blinds us to the great things that God has in store for us. We become so preoccupied with this overwhelming fear, that we cease forward progress. We begin to backslide to our spirit of fearfulness, rather than grasping at the spirit of power that God gifted us with. We would rather ball up in our fear than reach out and let go of our comfort blanket. Seems kind of silly to think of fear as a comfort, but we tend to blow things out of proportion. We make the small things big and the big things small. We give power to the things God has already defeated.
The best solution to fear is God. Placing God back on His throne where He belongs, rather than stuffed behind the fear we often place in front of Him. He is Mighty. He is Righteous. He is above ALL things, here on Earth and in Heaven. He can handle anything we have, but we have to give it to him. When we do, we will be given so much more than what we gave up. In Luke 18:29-30 the story is wrapped up by Jesus confirming, ““Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”” What a reassurance that Jesus has given us!
The Bible is full of flawed people with flawed ideals and dealings with God, but God was, is, and will always be flawless. We can give him our fear, because He can deal with it. He can vanquish it. When in doubt, look to Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He has promised to take care of you, so give your fear to Him, and be prepared to be given your spirit of power, love and sound judgment back!