Why do we have so many fears? We don't exactly live in a time and place (though I'm sure many would disagree with me) where we truly have much to fear.
And if we are the Lord's, do we really ever have anything to fear?
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
- Psalm 27:1 NASB
I once heard it told that at some point in history children were often not named right away. The infant mortality rate was so high families wanted to see if they were likely to make it before they got attached. When I went to Europe with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Tim's Aunt Jeannie, we had the opportunity to tour a group of catacombs. A large percentage of the indentations carved out for bodies were undoubtably meant for very young children.
Clearly our children have much better chances at surviving their early years now. Some of us even name them before we meet them. But I'm not sure that we aren't more fearful over them than our historical counterparts. Everything is padded and has a seatbelt. Shelby completely melted down in HEB one morning because Victoria had, through sheer force, unbuckled her older sister's seatbelt on the shopping cart. "She's TEARING me apart!" she had screamed.
Oh sweet Shelby, momma isn't planning to wreck the cart. I don't treat the aisles like a slalom on the autocross course; pity that. I really just need y'all strapped down so I can pick out the "just right" bunch of bananas and attempt to determine which avacados are ripe BUT NOT TOO RIPE without either of you climbing right out of the cart.
We slather our children with sanitizer anytime we're in public. Ok, I don't always ... but when a family-demic illness is too recent a memory I might have done this. We worry that our parenting and discipline methods are too much, not enough, or not the right matched for our changling two-year-old's personality. Are we giving them the very, very best start in life?
Say to those with anxious heart,
"Take courage, fear not!
- Isaiah 35:4a NASB
By no means am I saying those things are wrong. In fact, what I'm really attempting to do is illustrate that human nature is programmed to fear. Remove one threat, and another (real or imagined) will take its place.
The same catacombs we grouped had once held people buried alive. Not literally - but Christians hid there during times of deadly pursecution. Hunted down, pursued, for their faith. It is still happening today. It will continue, and worsen, if we believe what the Bible has to say.
'Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
- Isaiah 41:10
If we allow it, fear will keep us lying sleepless at night. But God has not promised us fear for now with eventual relief in heaven. He has promised us the gift of His peace - even now, independent of our circumstances. Grab that gift. Share it. Be free to return His love. He is the same God as He has always been. He has not changed. Nothing can touch you without Him allowing it - and if He allows it, it is because He will be glorified. And isn't that what we were created for?
"Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
Then Elisha prayed and said "O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see."
And the Lord opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold,
The mountain was full of horses and chariots of Fire all around Elisha.
-2 Kings 6:16-17