Can you identify with the following incident I shared on the blog a few years ago?
Recently I was lying in bed envisioning an upcoming situation with one of our children and letting myself imagine how badly it might turn out. “What if this happens?” or “What if a person responds to her this way?” or “How will we handle this particular outcome?”
I tossed and turned as the possibilities went from bad to worse. Pretty soon I was practically panicked, allowing fear of what might happen to make me a nervous wreck.
Here’s what’s interesting about that story. I could have written those same words last Friday night. Yes, I was basically in much the same boat, just regarding a different situation (one still related to my children, of course!).
A number of times in the Bible, people are told to “fear not.” Maybe that’s because fear is an emotion that’s easy to give in to. It doesn’t take much for most of us to let our imaginations run wild with all the possibilities of bad things that can happen.
I like these words related to battling fear from Melanie Shankle’s book, The Antelope in the Living Room.
“Isn’t that what fear does? It grows and magnifies everything to the point where all rational thought is lost and we can only see the city limits of Worst Case Scenario, which borders Crazy Town.”
In both cases of mine above (plus many more times I won’t mention), that’s exactly what happened to me. Fear crept into my mind. It may have started as a small concern, but I allowed it to totally blow things out of proportion. Not only that, but I was fearful of events and reactions that might not even occur.
Fear can take us lots of places in our minds that we don’t need to go.
One of my favorite Bible verses on fear is II Timothy 1:7.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Any feelings of fear we have are not from God. His plan for us is that we trust in Him. His Holy Spirit gives us the power to have peace ruling in our hearts. We can rest in His goodness and faithfulness.
So what do we do when those middle-of-the-night fears start to come? How about meditating on Psalm 34:4?
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Pray. God will hear. And He has the ability to deliver us from ALL our fears. There’s not a one that’s too big for Him to handle.
And Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds me that He’s not going to leave me in my fears.
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.“
I love that God wants to deliver us from our fears. Isaiah 41:13 says,
“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
If I picture God holding my hand as I face my fear, and hear His voice saying He will help me, I can have the courage I need to send that fear packing.
Our fear will not accomplish anything positive. It will only make us citizens of Crazy Town! Let’s don’t let fear take us there!!
Have you struggled with fear? What helps you get through those times?