Do Not Live In Fear

14 May

“Fear does not stop death, it stops life.”  ~ Vi Keeland

When I was young, I had a deathly fear of the dark.  My brothers would often taunt me with that, turning lights off on me while I was the farthest away from exiting a room as possible.  I would run for the door, stumbling and falling on things that were in the way.  My fear generated a blind panic.

That fear also seeped into my dreams.  I can remember many times waking up from a nightmare.  By this time, I had been asleep for a while and my parents would have turned off the hallway light that they left on for me and my younger brother so that we could fall asleep.  I would lay in bed listening to the sounds of the house at night and my vivid imagination would conjure up images in the dark shadows.  I was frozen by fear many times, often unable to speak and, sometimes, finding it hard to breathe.

Eventually, I would get out what I needed to do most of all:  scream.  My mom would be awakened and come into the room to comfort me.  She would tell me to go back to sleep.  Yeah, like that was really going to happen.  My fear would keep me wide awake.  I would startle at every sound.  Those nights were horrible.

I thought about those early days when I found today’s quote.  Fear, indeed, stops life.  When we allow ourselves to be consumed by fear, we become immobilized.  Fear is, by and large, irrational but that doesn’t make any difference to us.  When fear grips us, it is as real as anything can be.

Fear is very much a part of our human condition.  We fear sickness.  We fear becoming weak.  We fear dependency upon others.  We fear death.  We fear judgment.  We fear hell.  We fear a lot of things.  Our fears often keep us from focusing on things rationally.  Our fears generate panic within us.  Our fears cloud our judgment.

In many encounters with angels and saints, God’s people often heard “Fear not” or “Do not be afraid” before anything else was said or done.  God does not want us to live in fear.  That was why He sent His Son.  Jesus’ death and resurrection have restored life to us.  If we allow fear to consume us, we might miss that very good news.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God to take away the fears that may be gripping your life so that you can life in His peace.