Pastor Freed used an interesting quote this morning in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words –
“There were certainly things I was scared to do, but I never thought I wasn’t up to the challenge.” (Rodney Mara)
It is interesting because it makes one think about things that they may be scared of, but do not fear actually doing. There are many things in life today that are scary to think about. These days that may include just leaving your house to go get groceries. Yes, it is scary to think that you could get COVID-19 just shopping for your groceries, but most do not let that turn into fear of leaving their house. Rather, we use that scare to goad us into doing the right things to protect ourselves – wearing a mask, maintaining a social distance and washing or sanitizing our hands when we exit the store.
The two words scare and fear are so intertwined that they are used in the definitions of each other; however there are subtle differences and the biggest is probably that fear contains a large amount of imagined outcome; whereas scare is more immediate and real. Something can scare us initially, but it doesn’t necessarily turn into a fear until we’ve had time to think about it and imagine all sorts of possible bad outcomes. A scare is more of a here and now reaction to an event, while a fear is thinking about possible future events.
Pastor Freed went on to mention that he is better able to deals with his fears by relying on his belief in God, that God is there with him, during times of stress or fear. That is certainly good advice and allows us to implement the last part of Mara’s quote in our lives – never to think that we are not up to the challenges.
If we call upon God for help and believe in Him, we quickly realize that with God at our side we are up for any challenges that come our way…we need not fear them. Many things in life are scary when we encounter them; however if we approach them with the attitude of “I’ve got this”, we can persevere. In reality, we are saying to ourselves “We’ve got this”, because we know that God is with us –
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
God did not say to never be scared. There are things that will scare us, as they should. However, we do not have to let that scare turn into fears that control our lives. Rather than being anxious and fearful when encountering something scary, heed the words of John and be at peace –
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The next time you encounter something scary, instead of letting that initial fright turn into a fear, quickly find your inter-peace, your faith. Rather than sinking into the paralysis of fear, you will see that your faith calms the situation and allows you to think clearly about what you should do to address the situation. Your faith allows you to maintain control of yourself in the situation, whereas fear would try to control you.
Have a great and fear-free day. God is with you. Be not afraid.