by Jordan McKenzie
It’s one thing we all have.
Though we may not want to admit it, we all fear something. It may be the simple fears of daily life, like the fear of what others think of us or the fear of having to talk in front of other people. It could be deeper fears, like the fear of not being able to make ends meet or not knowing what might happen to a loved one who is walking down the wrong path. Or it may be existential fears, like the fear of death or cancer. Regardless, the truth is that at one time or another, we all have things we fear. We all have these things mulling around in our heads from time to time, keeping us up at night or making us anxious.
I believe as Christians we must acknowledge our fears. The Bible is filled with people who are honest about their fears. People who don’t just celebrate the good things in life, but wrestle with the full range of human emotions. This especially comes out in books such as Job, Psalms, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes. These writers didn’t have perfect lives. They weren’t so holy that their fears suddenly went away. They struggled with many of the same issues we do. And like them, we can’t simply gloss over our fears or pretend they don’t exist.
We are reminded that even Jesus had fears. In Luke 22, when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was filled with fear. It ran chalk through the fiber of his being, even to the point of causing him to sweat blood. Yet in that moment, he shows us what the appropriate response to fear is for as Christians. He prayed passionately, pouring out his fears before God. He let God know the full weight of his fears and how they broke his spirit. He then gave them over to God, putting himself in God’s hands.
We, too, must follow Jesus’s example. We must sometimes be broken before God about our deepest fears and doubts. But then we must give them over to God. It’s only then that we can learn to trust God and be freed from our fears.
This, indeed, is a daily practice. It’s not as though one day we will magically be filled with total confidence and live life without fear. But every day, as we go through our lives and share our fears with God and learn to let Him have control little by little, we will learn to trust God. And we will learn to be people who can live more peaceful, calmer, lives.
Prayer: God, we are often a fearful people. We know that you are the Great Counselor. You are the Solid Rock. Help us to be honest about our fears and trust you enough to help us with them. Help us to know that you are there for us and with us always. Amen.