Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What are you afraid of?

Do you have any fears?  I actually discovered a new fear recently and I'm going to call it: chased cynophobia, or the fear of being chased by dogs.  Let me explain.  It was a gorgeous morning as I took my regular walk.  I was actually walking about 10 minutes later than usual, and I noticed more activity on this particular morning.  As I rounded the corner, I heard some dogs barking and noticed two dogs were behind a glass door.  The next thing I know, these two dogs pushed on the door and opened it... and they came running at me full speed ahead.  The fact that I'm not an animal person - yep, I'm a "no pets" kinda gal - will explain my reaction.  I immediately started screaming at the top of my lungs and started running serpentine (Madagascar 3 anyone?) into the street.  (On a side note, I did not look both ways when running into the street.  Apparently my fear of being chased by dogs is bigger than my fear of being hit by a car).  As this scenario is playing out, the owner is yelling for her dogs to stop... and she's telling me they won't hurt me.  Unfortunately, I don't believe her because they are barking and chasing me, so her words did not ease my fear.  She finally yelled enough that her dogs stopped and I was able to resume my walk, shaking a bit and breathing hard.  It was quite an adventure to say the least.  I think I should stick to my earlier walk time...

Fear is the opposite of peace, isn't it?  Thankfully, this fear of mine isn't so great that it's stopped me from taking a morning walk.  And I don't panic every time I turn the corner, waiting for another "dog chase girl" scene.  I haven't let this fear consume me.  But fears sure can consume you.  They can take control of your thoughts, your attitude, your activities.  They can isolate you.  They can prevent you from living life to the full.  Living in constant fear is not where I want to be. 

And living in fear is not where God wants us to be either.  Did you know that the phrase "do not be afraid" is in the NIV version of the Bible 77 times?
 http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=do+not+be+afraid&t=NIV  And the phrase "do not fear" is in the NIV Bible 33 times?
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=do+not+fear&t=NIV&sf=5  That's some major encouragement to NOT fear.  But why shouldn't we be afraid?  Check out these verses and see:

Deuteronomy 3:22
Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
2 Chronicles 20:15
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:17
You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Hebrews 13:6
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Why shouldn't we be afraid?  Because God is with us.  We are never alone.  He is right there, fighting on our behalf.  Can you imagine how different your life would be if you lived free from fear?  If you turned your fears over to God in complete trust and chose to live in peace instead?  What if Psalm 37:5 became your mantra?
 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.  Psalm 37:5 Amplified
Letting go of fears won't happen overnight.  And it may not happen in the heat of a "dog chase girl" scenario.  But it is possible... Are you willing to give it a try?  Are you ready to roll all your fears and cares over to the Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Powerful Creator and live a life of peace as you trust Him moment by moment?  He's waiting... 

No comments:

Post a Comment