Moving Away from Fear
By Rosemary Flaaten –
While on a recent African safari, I had an elephant encounter. Unwittingly, I found myself between two magnificent, but very large, creatures who seemed none too pleased. Barely protected by a flimsy compact car, I cowered between them. One elephant was roaring and swinging his trunk as if to say “get out my way, lady!” With adrenaline coursing through my veins, and every fibre in my body screaming “YIKES”, I gingerly moved out of harm’s way. I have not been that scared in a very long time.
Most of my fears come, not from real and present danger, but from the cesspool of “what if ?” What if the medical results show abnormalities? What if my contract is not renewed and my stocks never rebound? What if my teenage child turns away from God?
Fear is characterized by Allister McGrath in The NIV Thematic Reference Bible, as “an attitude of anxiety or distress, caused by concern over a threat to one’s future.” Our future is unknown, and in many cases, uncontrollable. Fear begins as an idea – What if? This seed of possibility takes root, and soon, various scenarios play out in our mind that nurture a future that is less than ideal. What began as an idea grows into a full fledged fear that strangles inner peace and joy.
Enter God. “When I said ‘My foot is slipping’, Your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalm 94:18-19 NIV).
God has called us to fear not. The absence of fear does not depend on our circumstances. Fear dissolves when we trust God in the midst of our circumstances. Fear of deteriorating health is calmed when we know that God has numbered our days. Fear of losing our job or financial security is consoled when we know that if God cares for the lilies of the field, then how much more will He provide and care for us. Fear of the ungodly choices family members will make is soothed by knowing that God loves them, even more than we do, and that He will not let them go from His grip of grace.
What do you fear? Invite God to enter that cesspool of anxiety to calm your worries and to bring them into the light of His joy and peace.
Quote: “We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow” (Fulton Oursler).
BIBLE VERSE: “Perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:18 NIV).