Fear is so unfounded if you think about it. Completely irrational. Pointless. Harmless. At least, it is if you are grounded in Jesus.
I must confess that I am afraid of a number of fears. I, Karis Rashleigh, am the unfortunate beholder of the following "conditions":
Lilapsophobia (Fear of Tornadoes),
Arachnophobia (Fear of spiders),
Tephephobia (Fear of being buried alive.... *shudder*),
Aquaphobia (no, that does not mean I am afraid to swim, it means I am afraid to drown.),
Galeophobia (Fear of sharks),
Acrophobia (Fear of Heights),
Globophobia (Fear of Balloons),
Androphobia (The fear of men. Don't laugh, I'm serious)
Gerascophobia (The fear of growing up/aging) . . . . And at least a dozen more.
The other day I was rather distressed while pondering my many fears. I researched them, read up on them, frightened myself even further, and then psyched myself out for the remainder of the day. I was so geared up that I had to force myself to leave the house and engage in some physically strenuous activity, just to take my thoughts off these upsetting wonderings.
When I returned, the fears came back. Not as vivid, no, but they were there. I was home alone, and the silence persuaded me to dwell upon my qualms. I worried myself to such an extent, that I awoke at least six times in the night, my neck and forehead slick with cold sweat.
I knew that this was a very unhealthy way to live. I knew that I was beating myself up about nothing. I knew that there was nothing to fear- that God was with me. I knew. That doesn't mean I believed.
I had gone to bed completely exhausted and after some consideration, decided to skip a night of my daily devotions. Wrong choice, as I later recognized. I tossed and turned, very disturbed. My mind simply wouldn't quiet down. It kept shouting at me all the different possibilities. "Imagine if, when you awake, you find you are in a coffin, buried alive?" . . . . "What if when you go swimming, the waterslide falls and you get trapped beneath it?" . . . . "Oh, it will be so miserable and depressing one day if you live to be a very old woman. Especially if you are too weak to walk or talk, and have to spend the rest of your days alone in a nursing home . . . ."
It was four o'clock in the morning when I finally sat bolt upright in bed, flicked on my lamp, and pulled out my bible. My sleep would be troubled no longer. In my daze I turned to the first logical place to soothe my anxieties- Psalms.
It struck me for the first time, how amazing the sheer number of promises there are listed in God's word! If you read through the Psalms, over and over His promises are recorded. There seems to be at least one for every problem we face.
Psalm 13:5-6 ~ But I will trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.
Apparently, I can trust in His love! And the fact that it is unfailing, means it won't ever fail. It won't be beaten by my fears- it will conquer them!
Psalm 18 is such a perfect passage- thanks, Lord, for causing me to stumble upon it when I needed it the most. Some of my favourite lines:
2. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
So... not only does He protect me and save me, but He literally IS my place of safety. All I need to do is run to Him, and I find shelter!
28. You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
He IS my light. If He is with me, (which He always is, no matter what it feels like,) then the darkness is laid bare, and everything is illuminated! What's to fear?
29. In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall!
If I had to face my fears on my own, I would most definitely crumble. I would simply melt in sheer agony- terrified beyond repair. But I have the God of Angel Armies on my side, so there is nothing to fear! I can do ALL THINGS through Him who gives me strength!
Psalm 45:11 ~ The Lord of Heaven's Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.
He is my refuge! He is my strength! Of whom shall I fear? The bible is chock-full of God's promises to us, and we can fully rely on them, for we KNOW they are true:
Psalm 18:30 ~ God's way is perfect.
All the Lord's promises PROVE to be true.
He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.
It makes sense, eh? If we look to ourselves for safety and refuge, if, instead of running to God, we run to man, or some other way to blot out the fear, then we are not letting our selves be truly protected by God.
It doesn't matter whether you really have a classified phobia, or if you're simply stressed over something significant in your life. A job interview. A school exam. Your Driver's test. A date. Your family's relationship. Something you said that you now regret. Something you wish you could've said. A lie.
Whatever is pushing you down, it is certainly not as strong as the One that wants to pull you up.
So let Him.
I would have tossed and turned for the rest of the night if God hadn't nudged me enough to lean over, turn on the lamp, and read God's comforts for myself. I allowed myself to be swallowed up in the resounding truth of all these passages. Over and over I read of how His unfailing love is lavished on us. I read how He is a shelter to those who love Him. In Him I can take refuge.
When the lamp went out again that night, It wasn't a black, suffocating, frightening darkness that enveloped me, it was instead the radiant force-field of celestial light that engulfed my sleeping form. It was protection illuminated- the Lord' angels that protect me from harm. It drove the darkness away, even from the deepest, lonelinest corners and crannies. It penetrated everything, it filled all.
Maybe that comforting light of God's promise hasn't reached the darkness in your life yet. Crack open the bible. Get into the word.
You know, if you turn on the light in your room and open the door out into an even darker one, you'll notice that the darkness never enters the lit room. No matter how little the light is compared to the blackness, the light will always dominate. It will always conquer the dark. The darkness flees the moment the light turns on. It is even truer with God.
Dive into what He has in store for you. No matter what you may be thinking, it's certainly not fear that He wants for your life.
2 Timothy 1:7 says it all: For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of self-control.
See that? Our spirits should not have fear dwelling within them. No wonder fear feels so awful! God can rid you of it in the blink of an eye, but only if you actually run to Him for protection, and away from human attempts.
So what's the point of being afraid if you have God for protection? It's as foolish as a small child being frightened of the bogeyman under the bed. No matter how much they cry and scream, you know that there's no reason. They don't understand it yet- but they will. And you will.
Your fear is completely irrational. It's unfounded. No matter how big and menacing your fear seems to be, no matter how threatening and huge it lurks behind you- there's no point in being afraid, because it will never win. It will never conquer you, because you are rooted in the One that chases all fear away- He promises that.