I have dealt with fear for most of my life, and not dealt with it all that well. More like it has dealt with me. I was afraid a lot as a child. Not for fear of my life, but circumstances in my home were not always the best, so it was more a lack of security that I was feeling. Like the house of cards would crumble at any time. I have shared before about my parents problems with alcohol. That was something they did to deal with their own demons. But because of it, I was never quite certain what the day, or night would hold. I remember waking up one night, at about the age of 6 or 7 totally alone in the house. No idea where my mom or dad had gone. So to say I was 'skeered' was an understatement.
That fear followed me into adulthood. In my lack of confidence in myself and what I was capable of doing. In my fear of trusting in relationships. I basically lived afraid of my own shadow.
Have you ever seen the movie "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" with Don Knotts? That poor man just wanted to be brave and wanted others to see him as strong and confident. So he gets hornswaggled into going into a 'haunted' house to find the origin of the strange noises and things that go bump in the night. I love that movie. To see him shaking in fear, but trying so darned hard to get past the almost debilitating fear that tries to paralyze him. He tried to pull himself up by his own bootstraps to get the job done.
I am so thankful that I don't have to do that. As I have grown, as a woman and as a child of God, I have come to trust and believe that He is always for me. He wants to see me succeed. He wants me to live in freedom. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." That speaks so much to me. God does not want us to be afraid. The terms, fear not and be not afraid are used in the bible over 8o times. So, if God is truth and He cannot lie, and if every word that comes from Him is powerful and true, then saying something just once should be enough for us to believe, right? He used those words over 80 times. I think I see a theme going on here. Don't be skeered!!!
That verse in 2 Timothy says that He hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but first of all, of power. In looking up the Greek origin of the word for power, dynamis it means strength, power, ability; inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. God says He has given us the Holy Spirit to indwell us, to give us power, comfort, direction. And it says we not only have that inherent power, but we have it by virtue of our nature; we are children of the Most High, the Living God. What can harm us?
Second He says He has given us love. The love that He showed us by allowing His son to die on the cross for us. 1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; because fear hath torment". So God gives us the power of His love, so that we can be strong and follow Him and live in peace. Fear has torment...have you ever felt that gut-wrenching fear that seems like it will swallow you alive? Whether it came from an actual situation where you were in real danger or a circumstance where your mind just got you to go down a deep hole of agonizing distress? God says His love can overcome that. We just have to trust Him.
And the third thing goes along with that love. He gives us a sound mind. Those words, sound mind have the definition of "an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control". As we take control of our thoughts, as we take on the mind of Christ, we will have peace. As we exercise self-control in our thought processes, we will overcome fear. There is a saying, a bird can land on your head, but you don't have to allow it to build a nest.
Perfect example for me is my fear of the dentist. I have had a deep and abiding fear since I was about 11. I went in because I had a piece of gum growing up over one of my back molars. The dentist was extremely insensitive and instead of telling me what he was going to do, he gave me a shot in the back of my mouth and then before it could even become numb started cutting. So not only did I hear that horrible sound, I could feel it. And I never overcame that fear.
God has always been gracious to help me to learn to 'get over myself'. He brought a customer into our business who also happens to be a dentist. I finally was persuaded to go in two weeks ago and have him do my first exam. He was as kind and gentle as could be. But that didn't stop me from basically shaking in my boots. So had another visit where he did some work on my front teeth. Again, gentle and kind and got through it easily. Then Thursday go in for what I thought was a routine filling, but because of my fear all these years, it ended up needing a root canal, which called for a visit to an oral surgeon and spending $1145. So that fear not only cost me peace of mind and some sleepless nights, it cost me all that money.
Fear is expensive. It costs us more than we can know. It costs us peace of mind. It costs us physically. It wreaks havoc on our bodies. It costs us in our ability and willingness to trust in God. It costs us, many times financially because we procrastinate on things that need to be done.
I am learning. I am trusting in His promises. He says do not be afraid, so even if I am shaking as I proclaim it, I will not fear, I will trust in Him. As I sat in that chair, getting that root canal, I just kept saying, Thank you Jesus. That you love me, that you hold me close, that you want me to not be afraid. Even as I waited for the pain to hit (which never did) I kept saying those words, Thank you Jesus. And He got me through it.
So to all those things that try to hold me back from His blessings. To all those things that try to paralyze me from fulfilling my calling as His child. To all those things that go bump in the night and cause me to live in fear and regret...I AIN'T SKEERED!!!