Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fear Factor

I am the original scaredy-cat. My list of fears grows daily. I'm afraid of most bugs, especially the jumpy kind. At night, I get scared that someone is hiding under the bed. I'm not a huge fan of the dark. Please don't ever tell me a ghost story because I will end up with goose bumps for days. I do not like scary movies. I don't even like scary commercials. As a matter of fact, one of the last times my husband and I went to the movies, they showed a preview for a scary movie, and Jason graciously told me to cover my eyes before I could see anything. I proceeded to cover my ears as well, and I hummed to myself until he told me the coast was clear. There are so many things that rally my "fight or flight" response that I wouldn't dare to inventory them all here.

While you might think that my catalog of cowardice is somewhat silly, the truth is that we all struggle with fear in some way, shape, or form. You might not flinch when a spider the size of your fist scampers across the floor or break out in a cold sweat when you hear a mysterious sound in the middle of the night, but you feel your heart skip into an irregular rhythm when they start handing out the pink slips at work. You might be able to stomach the latest horror film, but the thought of your teenager driving recklessly around town gives you a major case of insomnia. Fear is common to mankind.

In those moments when fear grips me like a boa constrictor (something else I'm terrified of, by the way), I am so grateful for the Holy Spirit who faithfully whispers the truth of God's Word to my rapidly beating heart. Scripture reaches deep to the center of our beings and cuts through the thickest fog of distress and despair. One verse that continues to bring soothing solace in the frazzled places of my soul is Isaiah 41:10. In this power-packed passage, the God of the universe proclaims, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (ESV)

Meditate on that for a moment. The God who flung the stars into space and causes the waves of the sea to ebb and flow knows your name and is familiar with every stressful thought you have each day. The Father who created daffodils and koala bears and dark chocolate and laughter goes before you and upholds you with His righteous right hand. He is WITH you. And He has promised to strengthen you and help you. Why do we waste time being afraid when we have Him attentively watching over us? 

Lord, forgive me for fretting over my fears instead of focusing on Your unending ability to protect and provide for me. Thank you for being strong where I am so weak.