I was delivering leaflets recently and as I bent down to post one I saw something large (this thing was huge) through the glass and it was moving at high speed towards the door. This creature was so big that I jumped back (yes, my cat-like reflexes really did kick in).
As I stood back at a safe distance it occurred to me that there had been no thud. The beast had come hurtling towards the door and I couldn’t understand how it hadn’t made contact with it and so I decided (rather heroically I think) to have another look.
As I crept towards the door, the monstrosity emerged again and that was when I realized what it was.
The huge creature that I was frightened of was my reflection.
I was wearing a black top and all I could see in the patterned glass door was a large dark object that got bigger every time I got closer.
Needless to say I was really embarrassed and I quickly resolved not to tell anyone about it but then it hit me (no, not my reflection) that we need to talk about fear openly.
When we are afraid, we often feel ashamed and our secret fear eats away at us. When we speak about a fear I think that we move a step towards overcoming it.
Fear is crippling and soul-destroying and we need to be free from it.
The key to being free is to face our fears. If I hadn’t gone back to have a look at the beast then to this day I would still tell the story of my narrow escape.
Sometimes a friend can help us by being with us as we face our fears.
Sometimes taking a rational approach helps us to be free from particular fears as we see them for what they really are.
Sometimes having a better understanding of who we are helps us to conquer fear. Bullies for example count on the fact that we feel weak and insignificant, but if we realize that we aren’t weak and powerless then things can change.
I believe that God wants to help us to be free from fear.
Will we confess our fears to God and ask him to fill us with his presence to strengthen us and give us courage to find freedom?
Will we ask God to speak the truth to us and to show us who we really are and what is really going in the situation that we are afraid of?
Will we ask God to act in power? When I am praying for people who are stressed I invite them to hear the words of Jesus ‘Peace be still‘. Jesus was speaking to a physical storm, but he can also speak those words to our troubled minds.
I am not ashamed to say that sometimes I feel afraid and I am encouraged to say that I am overcoming my fears with God’s help.
At a family event we ran at OBC we invited people to pose for frightened and happy pictures on the way in and then we made this video which we showed at the end of the event. May God set us free from our fears!