Human beings live in fear of all sorts of
things. Some fears are rational; many are not.
People are afraid of heights (guilty), the dark
(guilty-ish), and all sorts of creatures, both real
and imagined. People are afraid of change and
death and public speaking. We can be afraid of
the doctor or the dentist. Some of us fear the
future, and some the present—on and on the
list goes. There seems to be no rhyme or
reason as to why we experience fear in certain
situations. An example: someone I know well is
a huge fan of snakes. In fact, he has been
known go out in the middle of the night and
stomp around in swampy areas in knee-deep
mud actually looking for snakes (did I mention
that this happens IN THE DARK?!). When he
finds a snake, he picks it up and identifies it,
then he lets it go free. But when it comes to
spiders, it is a completely different story. He is
deathly afraid of them. There is no chance that
spiders will ever become in his life what snakes
are. There is no rhyme or reason.
Fear causes us to experience all sorts of
things. It affects us physically—our hearts race
as adrenaline pumps into our bloodstream. We
may run and scream or otherwise say and do
things we would not normally do. Whether the
fear itself is rational or not, we usually end up
responding in irrational—even unhinged—ways.
It also affects us mentally and spiritually. It can
cause us to freeze—to stop doing and being
what we should do and be. It can paralyze us
so that we do not grow or mature. It can
overwhelm and consume us.
Scripture tells us over and over again to
not be afraid. Instead, we are to believe God
and his promises. What are you afraid of?