|Posted on September 16, 2019 at 7:50 AM|
Are you afraid of something?
Fear is an interesting emotion. Fear can be frightful when something causes us major trepidation. I would be quite fearful if I was approached by a savage beast, if fire threatened my home, or if a serious illness befell a family member. This fear might even paralyze me to the point of inaction, and there could be serious consequences if I remained in that fearful state.
But fear can also be a good thing. If I am afraid of something, like spiders, I might decide to learn and understand more about arachnids to help me become more comfortable around them. I might even work to overcome my fear by touching or holding one. (I held a tarantula several years ago!) When I am afraid I’ll fail when I start a big new project, I may choose to study harder about the initiative and do better preparations for the tasks I need to do. I have to admit that Google has helped me a lot when I need to learn something! Sometimes I use calming techniques to get my butterflies to fly in formation. And I pray for spiritual help to guide me. In these cases my fear has caused me to change something in my life, and I think I have become a better person because of it.
Throughout human history, man has had many things to fear: drought, wild animals, harsh climates, advancing armies and more. Uncertainty about how things will turn out has been the cause of much fear, too. Fear of things we cannot control and fear of the unknown cause us to worry and doubt our abilities.
When I am faced with fear, it helps to recall other people who have faced uncertainty and fear. Moses was afraid when he was told to go to Pharaoh and speak on behalf of the Israelite people. Mary was uncertain when Gabriel told her she would be the Mother of Jesus. Joseph was afraid to take Mary as his wife knowing she was with child before their marriage. And look at the disciples, who cowered in fear when they faced that wild storm on the sea of Galilee even though Jesus was right there with them.
These biblical figures who we know did great things were afraid! And it took an angel, Jesus or God himself telling them not to be afraid but to go ahead with their tasks in order for these humans to overcome their fears and act.
I have heard a definition of courage that says that courage is not the opposite of fear or even the absence of fear, but instead it is the ability to act in spite of fear. I think that’s true.
I have been fearful at many times in my life, and I still have fears. Yet I have learned that although it’s hard for fear to leave us, we can still do things to lessen that fear and act anyway. When I pray and take other steps to lessen my fear, I feel better knowing that I tried. And in some cases, the results have brought me unexpected blessings!
Is there something in your life which is causing you fear? Perhaps something unknown or dangerous? I encourage you to pray about it, and perhaps take some new steps to learn how to lessen your fears. Get help if you need it. I encourage you to act anyway if you can, in spite of your fear. You may find some blessing along the way!
Have a blessed Monday!