“Mommy, will you please hold me?” Peter asked as we knocked on the door at a friend’s house. The thought of being greeted by a dog, no matter how small, nice or mellow struck fear into the deepest part of my then five year old son.
I wanted to reply, “Honey, God doesn’t want you to be afraid.” To me, facing a dog is a normal part of life. To him, fear of the unknown loomed larger than anything else in the moment.
As I considered the terror my son had of dogs, I thought about a Bible verse. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).” It is easy for me to spout these words to my boy, but how do they apply in my life? What are the “dogs” I face? An unstable economy, difficult people, sickness and other concerns all fall into the “Things I fear” category.
This verse made me realize I cannot react in fear to a situation and still think clearly about it. And, I can’t work through it with God’s power and with His love if fear determines my steps. One half of the verse or the other will dictate how I respond to life’s challenges.
A spirit of fear persuades me to flounder through trials and uncertainties with my own strength rather than trusting in God. It encourages me to focus on myself rather than on Him. When I choose this manner of getting through tough circumstances, I end up confused, exhausted and defeated. If I choose to trust God in the scary things of my life, I can rest in Him and know that He’s “got it.”
That day at my friend’s house, I held Peter’s hand and stepped inside with him close at my side. How wonderful to know that God does the same for me. When I call out to Him, He gives me what I need to overcome fear and to walk with confidence through the situation.
Your Turn: What helps you to work through fear?