Let’s talk about fear for a moment. Fear can make you feel like you’re at the end of a tunnel with darkness pressing in from all angles. I’m afraid of many things. I’m afraid of all kinds of bugs. I’m afraid of driving in a blizzard in the mountains. I’m afraid of skydiving.
On the next level, sometimes I’m afraid of going to bed at night because I know my blood sugars haven’t behaved all day. Sometimes I’m afraid to go to bed because I know what stresses await me the next day and I’m dreading it. Failure also scares me.
I’ve had people say that they think I’m fearless. I’m flattered, really. But, honestly, that’s just not the case in my life. If you know me, you know certain reasons why I chose nursing as a career. And, those reasons are absolutely true. But, another big reason why I went into nursing is because medicine scared me a little bit. With my health conditions (only type 1 diabetes at the time), I didn’t know what awaited me later in life. So, I told myself that the best way to combat that fear was to learn about medicine and be a part of it. And, it worked, to some degree. But, when my MS came up, oh boy was my fear rekindled. My health can be unpredictable. My blood sugars can be so unpredictable no matter what I do. I’ve accepted that, and Jesus saved me from that fear a while ago. It’s all in my book.
It was a scary decision to go to nursing school. Added on to that, 5 years of grad school is a daunting task. I’m afraid of making a mistake in the nursing field even though I know nobody is perfect. I still get nervous before my MRIs every year because I’m hoping everything is stable. There have been many situations in my life that have created fear in my life. And, honestly, I’m not the best at dealing with it.
I’ve been told to give my fear to God. Truthfully, I’ve never been good at that. I’ll pray and “give it to God,” but then go right back to worrying about it. It feels as though I’ve just never been able to do that successfully. And, doing a bible study this morning, something clicked, which might be old news to some of you. “Giving my fear to God” has to be a daily occurrence. It’s not a one-time thing. Just because I prayed about the fear once doesn’t mean that I won’t ever feel that fear again. It takes conscious effort on my part to remind myself that I have relinquished that fear to God. Those feelings of fear will come back over and over again, because that’s what the devil likes to do, but I need to remind myself that I have given those things to God. I have asked God to replace those feelings with peace. So when they keep trying to make their way into my heart, I need to be firm and remember who is on my side and who is fighting for me. Not an easy task, I grant you.
I’ve spent much of my life doing things afraid. Sometimes I’ve just had to dive into the fear and get it done anyway. For example, being a competitive swimmer and managing diabetes. Another example, diving right into 4 years of nursing school. A third example, investing in some Raid spray and directly killing spiders when I can barely look at them (literally)!!
Sometimes it’s not enough for someone to say that there’s no reason to be afraid. Actually, there could be many reasons to be afraid – those “what ifs.” Or, when someone says that “do not fear” is mentioned over and over again in the Bible. Because, when those feelings of fear keep creeping in, it’s difficult to loosen their grip.
But, there’s a difference between a non-believer and believer feeling fear. I know that I have Jesus on my side. I know He is there protecting me. I know He is there to listen. I know He already knows that I’m feeling afraid. You’ve heard the quote: “Fear is the devil’s greatest illusion” by R.M. Drake. It’s a relentless ignition. You think of one possible outcome, three more pop up. The lesson I’ve been trying hard to apply to my life is to fill my mind with God’s Word and His comfort rather than the fear that keeps me up at night. If my mind is filled with God, those fearful emotions have very little room. Again, it’s a task that I’ve had to really try and work on, because I’m not the best at it.
In the climate of our world today, fear is absolutely rampant – personally, globally. So, as believers, we have a task. We need to replace fear with God’s Word, replace lies with truth, and replace chains with freedom. We need to stop it catching by standing firm in God’s truth and reminding ourselves who we are fighting for.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”