“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still’.”
~Exodus 14:13-14 (NRSV).
One recent day was a horror at wakening. Not that this particular day was anything to be too concerned about—I’d just assessed my ability with people this day as less than average. My stocks of confidence were lower than usual.
Do you know those days when you’re just super-aware of the lack and not aware enough of the most wonderful potential that lies within?
Hemmed-In – No Doubt
When the Israelites were hemmed in prior to the crossing of the
Red Sea anyone could understand their desperate plight. Sure, the Lord had done many miraculous things in that day, but as for us, fear tended to blind them to these as they encapsulated the terror, caressing it with their sight—a mighty sea and an angry foe, and them between.
We too are often hemmed-in, and frequently without cause will come an army against us, bearing us up against the seas of our billowing doubt.
Two Responses to Fear
We all experience fear, and the paradox is we cannot be truly courageous without fear. Fear is a necessary activating component for us to do anything truly heroic. We cannot express faith without fear. It has to be there.
So, when we ‘accuse’ the fear and go into our self-pitiable or frozen states, we defuse only the opportunity at conquering the fear with the virtue of a holy and all-powerful God behind us. We disarm the wrong thing.
Instead we should be disarming the fear itself. And this is done in at least one of two ways.
First, we can approach the problem or issue in a fear-less sort of way: to be fearless, i.e. denying the fear, but truthfully so. There are truly many fears we have that are ridiculous in the face of reason. The more we come about this rational sense of logical reason, then, the more we’ll retrain our minds to think differently and better. Our goal should be to quickly recognise these fears and quash them with immediate effect.
Second, we can approach it in a manner that just fears it less, acknowledging that what we’re fearing is appropriate to fear; we just must conform the fear so it’s manifested healthily. We’re open and honest about it. This of itself is courage.
Being fearless or just fearing less. God is with us in these pursuits. It’s God’s will that we are not afraid.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.