Last week, I shared with you about some of my silly childhood fears. I know, they’re ridiculous, but even now at my ^&*%* years of age, when the night gets becomes wee hours, and the house sleeps. When the earth holds it’s breath and I alone am awake to hear the silence. Those are the times when my fears revisit. They tingle up my neckline and
make me dash out of the light so I can’t be seen through a window. Or they make me shut the door too quickly to make sure whatever is out there, stays out there.
Let me guess: I’m the only one around who still gets the heeby jeebies?
I’m thinking not.
See, my fear is silly, visiting when my mind tires and my defenses lower. But fear can also come in the single term of worry. I have a friend who has been teased all her life for the worry wart she grows. It’s not fair really, because when she says, “Please, please be careful,” she’s actually saying, “I don’t want to think about what this world would be like without you.”
However, my friend does deal with worry. She has a rich imagination where she pictures her loved ones in terrible accidents or situations far beyond her ability to fix.
I can so go there in my imagination with my own kids. I think that’s why Paul implies the need to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. When I find my mind drifting to the negative what ifs (as opposed to the positive ones that stir up my writer’s creativity) my job is to force my thoughts to go elsewhere. To not allow the wandering of my mind into a zone where I’m going to be hurt – and worry does hurt!
Just like my heebie jeebie experience initiated a response (like dashing to my room and snuggling up to my hubby) the other types of fear initiate responses. The results stem from situations built out of dark fantasies and are seldom rational reactions, especially when the stimulus of the fear remains absent. Worry builds into more worry because fear feeds upon itself. The dread grows into a need to control everything that’s going on in order to eliminate the experience. But that attempt to control merely frustrates because no one can truly control the circumstances of life. And controlling someone else? Forget about it!
But “Perfect love casts out fear.” 1John 4:18 (I actually memorized this verse when the meaning of it was hammered home by a Christian Archie Comic book.) When we’re abiding close to the Lord, His perfect love won’t let fear take any ground. And the need to control isn’t there when we’re bowing to the One who actually has the power.
Your turn: In what situations does fear visit you?