Fear. Being afraid. It’s an emotion induced by a perceived threat. That threat can be anything. When a stimulus occurs our reaction to that stimulus evokes emotions of fear that cause us to fight or to flight. Fear causes us to motivate ourselves to deal with the stimulation, or to run from it. The stimulus can be anything. Snakes. Spiders. The response to someone we love. Fear of the outdoors. Heights. Water. Enclosed spaces. Needles. Blood. Social rejection. Failure. Public speaking. Cockroaches. Flying. Driving. You name it, any stimulus can create a fear within any of us.
Fear can manifest itself throughout our lifetime. We can get to the age of 99 and still carry around in our mind stimuli that creates fear responses. Take for example Abraham, who at the age of 99 was married to Sarah. God had told him earlier in his life to move from his family of origin to the wilderness west of his homeland. He told him to look around because God was going to give him all the land as far as he could see. Unfortunately there was a famine in the land and so Abraham moved his family to Egypt where there was food (Genesis 12. 13-15). Because he was afraid of what the Egyptians would do to himself if they knew she was his wife (she was very beautiful, but was 90 the last time Abraham did this-she kept her beauty even in her old age), he told them she was her sister. Abraham not only did this once, but later in life he did the same thing in front of King Abimelech. (Genesis 20: 1-13)
Fear can cause us to run from our problems. It can cause us to compromise our moral and ethical standards. It can cause us to lie so that we don’t have to face the terrible assumptions we have conjured up in our minds. It is for sure debilitating and causes us to take our eyes off the Lord and onto ourselves and our circumstances. Fear surfaces when we focus on the situation, the stimulus and not on the power to fix the situation.
Jesus spoke to this issue of fear and worry and says, “Don’t worry about your life as to what you shall eat or what you shall drink or what you shall put put on. . .” ( Matthew 6:25-34) His solution to fear and worry is to focus first and foremost on Him, His Kingdom, and His righteousness. When we focus on the stimulus of our fear, we will be like Abraham who at the age of 99 still feared what would happen to him if foreigners found out he was married to a 90 year old beautiful woman. I guess the one positive thing about this is that at 99, he still had a wonderful perspective of his bride.
On this journey throughout life, times of fear will inevitably surface. Remember where to put your focus and cause the fear to melt away.