“Why are you scared to dream of god when it’s salvation that you want?” — Conor Oberst (American singer and song writer)
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about fear and what it does to people. Fear is a basic emotion. It can be experienced as a response to perceived danger or risk, or it may be expressed as a response to something disliked. What fear is “not” is the place we are to dwell. Living in fear is not the Creator’s plan for any of us.
In fact, scripture has plenty to say about not being fearful. There are at least 365 references to living without fear–one for every day of the year. A couple of my favorite passages are from Deuteronomy and Psalms:
Be strong, be bold, don’t be afraid or frightened of them, for Adonai your God is going with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. –Deuteronomy 31:6 (CJB)
Adonai is my light and salvation;
whom do I need to fear?
Adonai is the stronghold of my life;
of whom should I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 (CJB)
I think for some folks fear is a crutch to keep them from dreaming boldly and from believing fully. I remember Macbeth’s words to his wife from Shakespeare’s timeless play of the same name “If we should fail?” (1.7.58) Of course they are plotting mayhem and murder to ensure Macbeth’s rise to power, not brave, bold thanks-living. But still, fear cripples Macbeth as surely as it does any human–for good or ill intent.
Fear can keep you from experiencing deep, satisfying relationships. Fear can prevent you from taking risks that will lead to amazing rewards (both tangible and intangible). Fear can stifle creativity and prevent you from reaching your potential. Fear can keep you from being generous and sharing. Fear can prevent you from flying and achieving your wildest dreams. In short, fear can lead to inept decisions that keep a person small, selfish, and short-sighted.
So on this second day of 2013, I wish you a year without fear. Just let it go. Refuse to give fear power over you, your emotions, and your actions. Let go of fear and see what the Creator of the Universe can work in and through you. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
How has fear prevented you from achieving something you wanted or dreamed about?
What one thing are you afraid of that you can let go in 2013?
How can you release your fear and harness your hopeful dreams of God’s goodness and mercy?
Photo by Martin Finch. Thanks!