I met some scary looking cows recently. As we walked past their field they all moved toward the fence and these two (who reminded me of a pair of nightclub bouncers) just stared at me. They were fenced in and so they couldn’t get to us and also it meant they were safe from my children which may have been a relief to them!
Cows are really funny creatures because they are fairly big and powerful but they are also timid and afraid. If a herd of cows was running in your direction then you would move out of their way but despite their size they seem to be afraid of everything. My daughter was handing these cows grass over the fence and they kept shying away from her. She’s not that scary is she?
I had always lived in urban areas until I met Tracey and when we were first dating, she took me to meet her parents who live in the countryside. While we were there we went for a walk which involved us going through a field of cows. I don’t recall seeing a cow up close before this and all I can remember now about that walk was how terrified I was and also that Tracey laughed at me for being afraid of cows. As we walked through the field, the cows ambled over to have a look at us and because Tracey could see that I was nervous, she said boo to the cows who ran away.
It’s funny how we can spend our lives being afraid of things that are actually harmless.
How do you feel about spiders? Let’s face it, they are pretty harmless but many people can’t cope with them.
In the Bible when people encounter God or an angel, the first thing that the person hears are the words ‘Do not be afraid’.
You see, fear is crippling and paralyzing and we need to be free from it. When we are afraid of things like cows or spiders, we give them a power over us that they should not have. You see, cows and spiders are not more powerful than us but when we live in fear of them then we are believing that they do have a power over us and that will affect the way we live.
These words of Nelson Mandela are helpful, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
God doesn’t want us to be afraid and as a result, he longs for us to turn to him and to ask him to set us free from our fear.
Overcoming fear involves getting a clear and objective perspective. I know that I can say boo to cows and they will run away and so I am no longer afraid of them. God longs to show us the truth and the Bible says that his truth will set us free if we believe in and act on it.
Overcoming fear involves coming to believe that you have a power over the thing you are afraid of. Knowing God and believing in his power gives me the confidence to face anything. I love the account in the Bible of Jesus calming the storm. The disciples are terrified in a dangerous situation but Jesus demonstrates his power by telling the storm to be still. In the same way that he brought peace to a storm, I believe that Jesus can bring peace to our minds as he sets us free from our fears and stresses.
Overcoming fear is easier when you are not alone. Tracey led me through the field of cows which meant I could get past my fear because her presence and her willingness to say boo meant that I knew that it was okay. God is willing to lead us through life, but are we willing to be led by him?
So, what are we afraid of?
Will we trust in God, giving him our fear and asking him to give us a fresh perspective about the situations?
Will we accept that God is more powerful than anything else that we face?
Will we listen to and allow God to lead us through life as we accept his leading and guidance?
God wants us to be free!