What to Do with Your Fear

Last night, my daughter can’t sleep because of nightmares.  She’s terrified.  I ask her to come beside me so we can pray for Jesus to take away all her fears.

“Don’t ask Him to take away all my fears,” she responds.  “I need some of them.” 

“Which ones do you need?” 

“The ones that keep me safe, you know, from bad places and dangerous things,” she explains. 

Some fear is good, I realize.

Just that afternoon at the pond, I find myself overcome by fear.  A snake slithers across my garden shoes, and I nearly run back home, leaving my children behind.  It moves into the water, and suddenly, the whole landscape changes.

Snake in the Pond

The beautiful pond turns ominous, deadly, haunted.  My beautiful secret pond has trees with claws and thorns set as traps for my arms and legs. 

I actually can’t breathe for a minute. 

The Trees Have Claws

Snakes!  They really are out here.  But then I find my camera, and I notice the way the late afternoon sun covers the whole place.  When I see what the sun reflects, I perceive beauty again.  It’s the kind of beauty that always lives alongside danger and fear. 

Put back in context, I realize that a little garden snake and an old tree don’t have any power here.  There’s something greater in these woods.  The fear is real, but there’s always something greater than our fear.  It’s the power of God.  It illuminates this path, covers everything, and lets us run with freedom. 

Running with Freedom

Some fear is good.  But when fear consumes and paralyzes us, we have to remember who is greater than our fear. 

Journal:  What fears do I need to put in the right context today? 

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0 Responses

  1. (take two)
    I love how you've illustrated this tension both verbally and visually. I also thought of this verse: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” (Psalm 119:32)

    Here's to a lifetime of running with freedom!

  2. Snakes are wonderful! They keep our rodent populations down. It's true, the possibility to be hurt by them is there, but it's also very low. They almost always slither away immediately, or have several little aural/physical defense mechanisms in place before they would ever, ever bite a human. As long as you don't step on them or poke them, they're pretty docile creatures. I encourage you to find out some positive things about snakes (seeing as they're almost always portrayed as evil). Find beauty in them, too!

  3. A wise daughter you have. I rue the watering down of fairy tales. Many were scary for a purpose – they gave a child validation in the fears they may be unable to articulate but feel. This was a particularly apropos post for Easter – thank you.