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Monday, March 22, 2010

What Are You Afraid Of?

With all the talk about the Tooth Fairy, I got to thinking.  What am I afraid of?

It's easy for me to laugh at Anna for being afraid of the Tooth Fairy, but are the rest of us really all that different?  To fear is human.  Most of us are afraid of the unknown – the things we can’t see or understand -- starting with being afraid of the dark. 

When I ask my kids what they are afraid of, the answers vary.  Bad dreams. Monsters. Strange Noises. Thunder. Shadows. And as much as I tell them not to be afraid, I know that I can't snap my figures and make their fears go away. (Unlike the Tooth Fairy story, I can't exactly tell them that I'm in charge of the dark.)  So I hold them, I pray with them, and I tell them that they are not alone. Sometimes I quote “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of self discipline.” I need to hear these words just as much as they do.

All of us are afraid of something.

My fears these days are much more complex. Sometimes, I let my imagination run wild with “what if ………”? And while I do worry about trivial matters like money and security, my deepest fears usually revolve around losing the people I love. These things are so terrible to imagine that I can’t even bear to write about them. And I hardly pray about them either, because I really hate to admit to God that sometimes I’m still afraid of the dark.

I know deep down that God will never give me any more than I can handle, that he will work everything for good, and that my earthly fears are completely trivial compared to my eternal security.  But that still doesn’t keep me from being afraid.

The question is, do our fears consume us?  Do they control us?  Or do we act in faith, knowing that a sovereign God holds the universe together?

What are you afraid of? 

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