In football, pundits love to say, “speed kills.” It’s a metaphorical saying, but there is another saying that is more than a metaphor. It is this, fear kills.
It does so by paralyzing people. It keeps us from doing our best, taking a risk, or just going on with life. Almost everyone who takes their own life does so because of fear. While depression plays a large part, it is primarily fear–fear of the future, fear of not measuring up, fear of loss, but always fear of something.
Several years ago, a young mother and her son came to meet with Martha on one of my days off. In order to let them talk freely, I took the four year old son outside with me. He was a great, little kid and very easy to take care of. I let him roam around our two acres checking out whatever caught his eye.
I quickly learned what caught is eye more than anything else–ants. He found every ant hill on the two acres. We saw fire ants and the common backyard kind of ant that burrows out a “bed” one grain of sand at a time.
It didn’t matter what kind of ant it was. This little boy was afraid of them–actually terrified.
After our guests left, I mentioned to Martha that I learned what four year old children fear. Then, I made a predictable remark: “Wouldn’t it be nice if all you had to fear was ants?”
It doesn’t matter how old you are, fear is real.
In Scripture, God tells us again and again not to be afraid. Almost always, that injunction is accompanied by God giving us a reason why we should not fear.
God tells us that He is with us and will not forsake us.
“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” (Joshua 1:9).
Could anything be more consoling than knowing God is with us and will never forsake us? Think of what that implies.
It means that God knows us and knows about us. He knows what we are going through and what we need. He promises to stand with us in every fear and every hard time. We can count on Him.
“But now, this is what the Lord says–he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).