Darkness and silence saturated the three-sided shelter my son and I slept in until the silence was shattered by banging pots and wild yelling.
We were on the Appalachian Trail and out for an overnight hike. My son wasn’t a fan of backpacking but had reluctantly agreed to go. Since bears were prevalent in the area, I took Roscoe (my .38) along just in case. Our hike to the trail shelter was uneventful, and we saw no other hikers until two young men sauntered along just before dusk and erected their tent near the shelter.
As darkness settled over the mountains, we hunkered down on the hard planked floors. My son fell fast asleep, but fear kept me awake. The thought of bears ambling into our shelter plagued my thoughts. Though they didn’t visit us, they did our neighbors…stealing their food. They had no peace that night but plenty of fear—as did I.
They do not know what true peace is. They have no fear of God to restrain them (Romans 3:17-18 NLT). God has instilled in us a fight or flight syndrome as a response to fearful circumstances. Fear can either paralyze or propel. When I don’t fear God, I’ll disobey him or completely leave him out of my life…ignoring him and his plans for my life. Or I can neglect everything God wants me to do for fear I’ll fail him. If failure is ensured, why try? But if I fear him with reverence and trust, I’ll respond properly by remembering he’ll give me strength to do whatever he asks, and this will propel me ahead with courage and trust.
Let your fear (reverence, trust) of God lead you to rely on him for the future he has in mind for you.
Prayer: Father in heaven, may our fear of You drive us into Your arms of love so we’ll be willing to travel wherever You lead.
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