Both of my sons are afraid of random things. Grant, my older one, even though he would never admit it, is afraid of closed shower curtains. Every time he walks out of the bathroom, the shower curtain is open. I would close it, and later in the day, I will find it open again. I don’t mention it, but I know it is him. I don’t know why; but it makes him nervous.
Dylan doesn’t like to see my closet doors open. He is not ashamed of admitting it, though. He unabashedly says, “I don’t like your closet doors open. They’re big fat scary.” Who knows why these things scare them. Nobody knows how such fears began. They can’t explain it. It’s like when Grant used to be afraid of buttons. From age 2 until not that long ago, he would not be caught dead in a shirt with buttons. The sentiment was so rash, that sometimes he wouldn’t even want to see me or anybody else wearing shirts with buttons. It was crazy and irrational, but it was real. I would try to convince him that buttons were cool. But he wouldn’t budge. I would try to make him tell me what he had against buttons. But he couldn’t put it into words.
Tonight, I contemplate my own fears. I don’t like to think about them. They are “big fat scary” ones. Some of them scream irrationality, like my fear of having the emergency break in my car accidentally pull up all by itself in the middle of me driving, bringing the car to a sudden and dramatic stop. Does that make any sense? (Please don’t answer)
Others are based on lack of confidence, like my fear of not being able to do a good job at work, home, church, or anywhere because I stink at everything. I also fear that I will let down and/or hurt those I love the most because I am unreliable, selfish and self-centered. I fear I’d make the wrong decisions because I am impulsive, impatient and arrogant. I fear I will miss the joy of life because I tend to always be dissatisfied. The list goes on and on. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I’m drowning hopelessly in an ocean of fear. And I am tired of it.
The origin of fear is lack of trust and faith in the delivering power of our God. I know it in my head, that He will never leave me nor forsake me, like I read in Deuteronomy 31:6; but I still doubt it in my heart. I still don’t take God at His word 100%. My faith is still lacking.
However, it doesn’t have to continue to be this way. I pray without ceasing that He will increase my faith. And I know that one way to start trusting Him for real is by remembering His promises. I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal His Truth to me through His Word so that I will really and truly believe it in my heart. And I know that in the meantime, every time I feel the cloud of fear hanging over me, wanting to cover me like a lead blanket, I can open up my Bible or even better, I can recite His Words by memory and aloud.
The enemy, who brings in the dark clouds, wants to distance us from our Lord, Jesus. He would hate nothing worst than to cause us to invoke Christ’s name and proclaim His Word every time he tempts us with our fears. It would probably be a good antidote to his schemes if every time we feel fear taking over, we would rebuke it by reciting Scripture aloud. The enemy would not like that one bit, and who knows? One day we may find out that buttons are cool. We may realize that there isn’t anything big, fat or scary in Mama’s closet,- besides Mommy’s pants, of course.- We might even understand that a wet-open shower curtain creates mildew; therefore, it is better to close it for it to dry out completely! And the enemy might even leave us alone…
Here are some to start:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
Even 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)
For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:10)
So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)