My life used to be ruled by fear. To say I was “risk adverse” was an understatement. I had a long list of phobias and chief among them was a fear of judgment and, of course, death.
If you’ve spent more than 40 years of your life oppressed by Fear, you’d think it would be hard to overcome, but it can and does happen when you seek to know the Lord God and His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. When you read the Word and begin to understand it, you begin to see the big picture of what God wants from all of us. He wants us to completely trust Him. Love and trust go hand-in-hand. It was difficult for me, especially when it came to my many phobias of the past. I found that I didn’t need to understand why I feared these things, but what I did need to understand was that when you completely hand your life over to the Will of God, the fears fall to the wayside.
I looked back over my posted dreams and began to see the common theme running through them that had never dawned on me before. Particularly the ones about the volcanoes, fish and planes. That “thread” tells a little story about what I fear the most. I’m about to face that fear head-on and strangely, I feel very calm. I think about Jesus and how He must have felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed to the Father to let this cup pass over Him. But then He said to let God’s will be done. That’s what I’m telling myself now.
As I said before, with all the experiences I’ve had and all the lessons of the Bible I’ve studied that relate to trusting in God, I feel like I’m walking in Peter’s shoes when Jesus called to him to get out of the boat and walk across the water. Peter didn’t want to go, he was afraid but He loved Jesus and trusted Him. He was doing okay for the first few steps but then began to sink as fear crept up on him. It overwhelmed him and then Jesus was right there, extending a hand of rescue to His beloved friend. Just as he does for the rest of us. Jesus is and has always been there.
The more I read about Peter, the more I feel I can relate to him. He seemed to be trying to always do the right thing but would miss the mark every so often. Jesus would lovingly correct him because He knew that despite Peter’s rough edges and not quite understanding what he was supposed to do, Peter would literally do anything for his Lord Jesus. The Lord does know the heart and people’s intentions. They might still need correction, but this is always done out of love. God’s love.
So these days, when it comes to dealing with an old fear still lurking around in the back of my mind, I think of Psalm 91. It is one of my most favorite passages in the Bible because it reminds us to completely trust in God, that He will cover us and we will take shelter in Him, where nothing can harm us. Bad things may happen – accidents, illness, tragedy, death – but in the end, death is only a transition to a much greater place. No matter what the nature of your fear might be, give it to the Lord. When you believe with your whole heart and trust Him, there is nothing you can’t overcome.
“My Refuge and My Fortress”
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place,
the Most High, who is my refuge,
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 â€œBecause he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.
~ Psalm 91