I’m afraid of a few things. The short list would be heights, the ocean, any animal that is bigger than me, flying, clowns, and Michael Bay movies; you know, just your basic run of the mill stuff. We are all afraid of something, and if we were honest with ourselves we all probably have a list of items that if we could help it we would rather just avoid. My fears might seem silly to you, and if you told me some of yours I would probably chuckle on the inside while keeping a sincere and understanding demeanor on the outside, because it’s rude to make fun of other peoples fears to their face. Unless of course your fear is opening a tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls. I can’t help it, I’m going to laugh at you. Sorry Aimee, but it’s really funny to watch you try to do that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately, because I’m weird, and that’s the sort of thing I do. It seems to me that there are two types of fears. There are surface fears, the stuff that sends us screaming out of the room, and then there are the fears that lay deep in our soul. These are the fears that keep us up at night. It’s the fear that we will be alone, screw up our kids, go broke, not be cured, fail, or simply not matter when it’s all said and done. These are the fears that often under the surface influence many of the decisions that we make in this life.
How many decisions have you made based on fear?
It’s pretty interesting to me how many times Jesus encourages those who were following him not to be afraid. I don’t know the actual number of times, I’m sure some Bible scholar much smarter than I could figure that out, but it seems to me that he says it a lot. One of my favorite examples of this is tucked away in the middle of Luke 12.
“Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.”-Luke 12:32
I like this one because it puts in my mind the picture of a loving father patiently explaining to his child that the thunder outside really can’t hurt them because it’s just noise. Jesus has just finished explaining to his disciples that the stuff they spend their lives worrying about and being fearful of in the end doesn’t really matter. It’s just noise. That’s not to say that it’s not important or uncomfortable, it’s just that the Heavenly Father already has it taken care of.
Jesus came to take care of our deep fears. When we follow after him it frees us up to acknowledge that while these fears may wear on us, they do not have to define us. When we realize this it frees us up to make decisions based on what’s best for His Kingdom not what best muffles our fears.
This type of decision making begins the death of “safe” Christianity and the beginning of a kingdom focused relationship with our Father that loves us.