Studies prove that a large percent of what we fear never happens. With such a thought, we should be able to shrug off our fears. Right? Better yet, trusting God for His promised help will give us added peace, and even joy in the worst situations. We thank and praise Him for His dependable Word—Jesus.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
When my twin sister Sandy and I started junior high school in Minneapolis, we felt overwhelmed by the long hallways, the many classrooms, and rows of lockers. Our stomachs knotted with fear every morning. Would we forget where our lockers were? Would we reach our classrooms on time? Between classes, the hallways churned with shoving, hurrying students who appeared as giants to us. So did the teachers, who seemed stern and unforgiving.
Gym classes were a nightmare. An imposing, whistle-blowing woman ordered us, like a sergeant to soldiers, to dress in prescribed clothing, perform certain calisthenics, undress and shower in three minutes, redress, stash our gym clothes in another locker, and then run to the huge lunchroom where we choked down our meals before rushing to another class. For years afterward, Sandy and I shared the same nightmare about that big, scary school.
The experience reminds me of an Old Testament story. Israelite scouts went ahead to check out the Promised Land at the end of their 40-year wandering through the desert. Except for Joshua and Caleb, the scouts viewed the land as occupied by giants. Hence, they saw themselves as mere grasshoppers and spread the word that the Israelites should not occupy such a scary place, even though God had promised victory for them.
My sister and I saw the junior high and its students as a land too big, too dangerous, too intimidating to occupy. Thankfully, we had to endure only three months of that school, for our family moved to Frederic, with its much smaller school.
We can’t all depend on such an easy fix, however, when we face situations that cause us to fear, become anxious, or feel hopeless. But we can depend on God’s presence and help. He is greater than the greatest threat or problem we face. The words “fear not,” or their equivalent, are mentioned 365 times in the Bible, followed by God’s promise of rescue and peace. We can choose to take hold of His “fear nots,” knowing He will give us victory over our seemingly insurmountable problems.
“… though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Lord, You know how helpless and fearful we feel sometimes. But we’re thankful for Your mercy and love. Today we grab hold of Your promises and rest assured that You are with us even through our darkest moments. In Jesus’ name, amen.