Fear is an insidious thing. It can freeze us in our tracks. Sometimes it seems to come from nowhere at all, striking for no logical reason. And it can spread, like a wildfire or a new strain of super flu.
Growing up in the early 1960s we would occasionally have air raid drills in school. These were significantly different from fire drills. In the fire drills we would line up calmly at the classroom door and leave the building in an orderly fashion. This was to train us how to act in case of a fire; evacuate the building quickly but in an organized manner and wait for the fire department to show up. That made the prospect of a fire much less scary.
Air raid drills were much less hopeful. We would be instructed to crouch under our desks, covering our heads with our arms. And that was pretty much it. We weren’t waiting for anyone to show up in the event of an actual air raid, except maybe people with shovels to search for survivors in the rubble, providing the air raid had spared any people or shovels.
Those drills didn’t do anything to alleviate the fear that was rampant during that time of the Cold War. In fact, they probably fed the fear.
Our society has known other times of collective fear. Terrorist attacks spawn fear and affect the way we live our lives on an almost daily basis. Fear of disease, especially cancer, is something that lurks in the back of many people’s minds. And there are those undefined or poorly defined fears that seem to be ravaging the public forum. Fear of those with different beliefs or ideas. Those fears cause people to circle the wagons with others of similar feelings and strike out, verbally or sometimes physically, against those who dare to offer a differing opinion.
When we act out of fear the result is never good or constructive.
One of the most common fears of childhood is the fear of the dark. It seems to me that darkness, whether literal or figurative, is an excellent breeding ground for fear. What we can’t see, what we don’t understand, what we fail to recognize often stirs up fear deep in our souls.
We can, however, deal with any and all of our fears and even overcome them. A short while ago I wrote about how King David used trust in God to overcome fear. The apostle John wrote that “perfect love casts out fear.”
The writer of Psalms 91 deals with this subject as well. One of my favorite verses is found in this chapter, a verse I often recall when the night is at its darkest, “You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day.”
Those of us who love Jesus can be secure even in the midst of fearful times and events. God has us covered, literally. “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark.
Fear is going to show up, attempting to cripple us and render us useless, especially as we seek to honor and serve God. But we can overcome fear when we recall God’s promise, “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.”
I’ll be sharing from Psalm 91 during Midday Prayer Time this week.
Mon 04/23 Psalms 91:1 – 3
Tue 04/24 Psalms 91:4 – 6
Wed 04/25 Psalms 91:7 – 9
Thu 04/26 Psalms 91:10 – 13
Fri 04/27 Psalms 91:14 – 16
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