For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
Fred feared the dark. His parents told him there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t there in the light. Even as a youngster, he knew that wasn’t true. Try as he might, he couldn’t shake the fear. Then one day his friend Rad suggested they have a camping adventure in his back yard. Not wanting to admit his fear, Fred agreed.
The experience was worse than Fred imagined. Without divulging his fear, he convinced Rad to leave a light on in the bathroom so they could see how to get to the facilities should they need them. Rad agreed. Rad had an evil sister, however, who somehow discerned Fred’s fear and made sure she extinguished the light. By the time the first rays of daylight peeped over the horizon, Fred was a nervous wreck.
I’ve struggled with this and other fears myself. Darkness wasn’t my friend when I was younger. Dad tried to help me defeat it by sending me into the backyard by myself. It didn’t work. At 55, I’m still a little nervous when piercing the darkness.
Though God has instilled in us a healthy sense of fear, He doesn’t expect it to lead to unhealthy emotional reactions. Avoiding a dangerous neighborhood is just good sense; stepping into the path of an oncoming semi isn’t. Through the instilled emotion of fear, God gives wisdom to avoid dangerous situations. Those that are beyond my control, I depend on Him to protect me from. And He’s promised He would.
Conquering unreasonable fears starts when we admit to God we have them. Then we can lean on Him for strength to face and overcome them.
Father, deliver us from unreasonable fears. Help us remember You have not given us a spirit of fear.