The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1 NLT
We faced each other, jaws squared, feet spread, and knives ready.
My cousin was famous for inventing games to play when I visited. High tech games hadn’t been invented yet, or if they had he didn’t have any. Since hogs, dogs, and chickens were the closest thing he had for friends, he had an active imagination.
He named one of his games chicken. We stood facing each other on my grandparents’ wrap-around porch, spread our legs apart, and held one of our large hunting knives in hand. Then he dropped the knife between my feet. Since they were initially spread far apart, the first landing didn’t bother me. Wherever the knife landed, I moved my foot beside it.
After a few times of repeating this action on each other, our feet were close together. That’s when fear took over and someone would eventually holler, “chicken,” and quit.
The psalmist had fears, but he knew they were irrational. He depended on the Lord to save him. His God loomed large. There was no need for him to tremble when God hung close beside him.
Unfounded fear paralyzes. Had I allowed it to do that to me when playing chicken, I would have kept my foot still even though I could see the knife heading for my toe. But I didn’t. When the choice came down to moving my foot or risking injury, I moved. When real or imagined fears become unrealistic, I cannot function.
Fear can lead to avoidance. If fear had ruled me, I would not have played the game at all. Then my cousin would have still called me chicken. We live in a scary world. If I think of all that could happen to me, I’ll never go anywhere or do anything.
Healthy fear is godly fear. A reverence for God because He is our creator and the One we’ll one day stand before and give an account of our lives to. A fear that leads us to worship Him and beg for His forgiveness, believing unforgiven sins will separate us from Him and bring punishment. And a fear that is overruled by trust in a loving God who holds our lives in His hand and will not let anything into our lives that doesn’t filter through His hand of grace and love.
Don’t let unhealthy fear rule your life. Instead, entrust each day to your heavenly protector.
Tweetable: Is fear controlling your life?
Prayer: Father, calm our fears and assure us You are our protector and guide.