It was the first camping experience for Jed. As soon as he had pitched his tent, he went for a hike in the woods. In about fifteen minutes he rushed back into camp, bleeding and disheveled.
"What happened?" asked a fellow camper.
"I was chased by a black snake!" cried the frightened Jed.
The camper laughed and retorted, "A black snake isn't deadly."
"Listen," groaned Jed, "If he can make you jump off a fifty-foot cliff, he is!"
There are any number of things in this world that may frighten us. For some of you, it may be snakes, or spiders or rats. For others, it may be great heights or the thought of flying in an airplane. For others, there is a fear of losing your health or losing your job. For most, there is a fear of death.
It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I understand him to mean that the way we react to fear is often more dangerous than the thing we fear. Fear can cause us to make rash decisions. At other times, fear can paralyze us so that we do nothing at all.
It is significant to me that the command Jesus gave his disciples more than any other was “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid.” The storm is raging. “Fear not!” There are those who seek to do us harm. “Fear not!” The girl has died. “Fear not!” We would regard all of those situations as legitimate reasons to fear. But Jesus made it clear that when He is present, fear is inappropriate. He is capable of handling anything we face, including death!
So what is it that causes you to live in fear? What is it that produces such anxiety that you have trouble going to sleep at night? Turn it over to the One who has promised to watch over you. “Fear not!” Trust Him.
“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)