The Power of Illusionary Fear
Friday morning during my quite time, the slight hum of a lawnmower drifted into my window followed by the smell of fresh cut grass riding the Santa Ana breeze. As the sounds and smell resurrected memories that took me back to my childhood, my flight came to a screeching alt. The sound of scurrying little feet stumbling over toys whipped my head around only to see Sophie’s tail disappearing behind the corner. The unidentified sounds enhanced by a gardener passing by the window carrying a huge garbage can were a little too much.
Her response reminded me of us. Fear consumes us and we run and hide when in reality we are in our Father’s presence safe and protected. Though it is irrational, it feels very real and propels us into a reactive flight or fight mode. Here was Sophie in this well built solid house with me protecting and watching over her and she acted like she had no protection at all. She had absolutely nothing to fear, but that wasn’t her view of the situation.
Often fear grips us when in reality we have nothing to fear because God is by our side as our shield, protector, and defense. Most of the time our fear is just as irrational as Sophie’s. We are in our Father’s presence. One who is powerful and mighty and for whom nothing is impossible and we are acting like He isn’t there at all or He has no power (at least in our lives).
We respond according to our beliefs. Sophie believed she was in danger so she ran, hid, and cowered. But her belief was wrong. Often when we experience fear it is because lies are taking over. We believe God can’t or won’t provide, protect, deliver, protect, or redeem. But, the truth is we have God and all He is by our side every moment of every day. And if you have God Almighty by your side what could you possibly fear?
Those of the world are at the whim of the world and their fear is more justified. Walking without God, they lack the safety we have. But we are no longer mere men but God’s children, and now most of our fears are unrealistic. We are under the shield of Almighty God. So why are we cowering? Running? Hiding? Do we believe God is who He says? Do we believe He truly cares for us? If we give that fear creditability then like Sophie that is what we will experience and not His peace, comfort, mercy, and love that is there for us.
‘Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is true the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And we should fear it because the unnecessary havoc and anxiety it creates in our lives. Fear leads us further away from where we want to be. It is debilitating. It leads us to the wrong actions, it shuts down opportunities we would have had, and it puts unnecessary angst on us and others. It is a powerful emotion in our lives and when it is misplaced it takes us exactly where we don’t want to go. Our beliefs and thoughts are very powerful. God created them that way so that our beliefs in Him would be powerful. This is why God so adamantly tells us to trust and believe His truth and not someone else’s. His brings life and all others bring death.
Fear counters trusting God. You can’t trust God and be consume with fear. When I tried to pick up Sophie and assure her all was safe she leaped out of my arms. When we fear we jump out of our Father’s embrace. Though He is still there and wants to comfort and assure us, we are too consumed with fear to experience His comfort. We mistakenly think He doesn’t care or isn’t there. He is always there for His children; but we aren’t trusting in what He is giving us – Him.
I have wasted huge chucks of my life on unnecessary fears. And though irrational fear still grips me in moments of doubt, I am finding it is happening less and less as I draw near to God. Drawing near and knowing Him leads to trust and trust dispels fear.
What fear has you in a death grip? Consider God’s promises and mediate on His Word, is it rational in light of His truth or are you acting like Sophie?
January 17, 2009 at 6:53 am
Rachel, so much during this last year has made me fearful of trusting God, not because I do not trust Him, but, because I do not trust myself! That may not make sense, but I have not been asking Him into my life as I have in the past…I guess I am too involved in the world and daily tasks to sit back and pray, and just listen as I should?
I understand Sophie’s fear, because it comes not from her comfortable surroundings, per say, but from what she believes she can deal with, as a baby kitten in the big, wide-world outside that she is unsure of.
I want to be able to know that whatever happens, it is The Lord that has given me the opportunity to choose correctly, but that is not how it works! I seem to have an uncanny ability to seek out the best for others, without much concern for myself, until later when I find that I am “in too deep,” and then I think “what about 20 years from now?”…I need to pray more diligently before I chose a path and seek God’s wisdom. Sophie has you to protect her from the gardner’s noises that frighten her inner being…I need to quiet myself and listen to Jesus who wants me to be quiet and listen to His wisdom…
January 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm
Trust is easy to say and hard to do . . . I too often don’t make bad decisions for myself and for me it is because I am trying too hard to please others. I multitude of bad decisions of my past makes it very difficult to trust myself, but I am finding my lack is a motivation to trust God more. I lean on Him and His wisdom so heavily because of this weakness that I am finding it actually makes me stronger because I rely on His strength and wisdom and not mine. 2 Corinthians 12:9. I am finding His wisdom and help to be a very real thing in my life. But I have found that ability to trust and follow His wisdom came when I abided in His truth – because both come by drawing near to Him in His Word. God’s mercy is great toward us to carry us through our deficiencies. It isn’t about our perfection but trusting in His in us. And as you mentioned drawing near to Him is the key and as we do our fears are replaced with peace.