This last week in October we think of upcoming scary things . . . Halloween, hurricanes, and elections.
Everyone on the east coast is holding tight as nasty girl Sandy approaches. It can be unsettling especially to those who have physical problems. How do we keep our peace as we wait for the historic hurricane to make land fall?
Why do we like to get scared but don’t like to be fearful?
Halloween has been around a long (Druid) time. The celebration started out to ward off evil spirits but somehow has evolved into laying bait for them. My kids had fun with imaginations while collecting treats from charitable neighbors and merchants. But, today my grandchildren need to be aware of more sinister concerns.
Every other year about this time, the youth of our church do a dramatic presentation of Judgement House. I’ve heard from a few community parents who would rather their children not be exposed to the fright of the hell scene, yet allow them to view evil in other ways. Today many movies terrify with gore and bring cloven hooves closer to the door.
Everyone has fears. Whether it’s self-inflicted by haunted hayrides, ghost tours, demon flicks, believing masked politicians, or beyond our control while waiting in the path of a relentless hurricane . . . we are on the battle ground of faith or fear. Which one wins in the crisis?
Fear is faith in reverse.
It can paralyze and hold us in bondage whether it’s real or imagined. Snakes and spiders, height or darkness, aging and dying, a hopeless diagnosis, lost jobs, an unknown future . . . all can be crippling if we don’t know where to go with it.
There seems to be plenty to fret about these days. When you’re afraid what can you do? If you don’t know where to turn . . . turn to the Psalms, a journal of peace.
The Bible tells us not to be afraid. In fact, hundreds of times throughout the pages we’re told fear not. It is the most common command in Scripture. In the same holy breath God tells us why. He says, “I am Lord, I am with you, I am your shield.”
On the other hand, wisdom teaches us to fear certain things . . . live wires, lightning, poisonous snakes . . .
. . . and an almighty God. A good fear, different than our phobias – a reverent awe of a dramatic and powerful God. One who is who He says He is . . . and can do what He says He can do.
So, fear Him alone . . .
A good anecdote to come against fear is God’s Word. Read until peace mounts a guard around your heart, mind, and soul to ride out the storm (and the storms in life).
I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.