Fear is not always bad. I always heard that if something is present and potent there is cause to be afraid. That is the emotion that you are supposed to feel.
An example of this is, if you are in an earthquake, then it is present and potent and you should feel afraid. But, if you are thinking of an earthquake and it is not present and potent, then you should not be afraid.
Fear Can Overshadow Living
I am surrounded by people that live by fear. They live in fear of sickness, fear of germs. They live in fear of their losing their job. They live in fear of losing their spouse. None of these are present or potent. It is being afraid of something that may or may not happen. Living in fear is not living. It is just waiting for something bad to happen. You can conquer your fears by understanding why you are afraid.
“My mother’s fear of losing me was taking over my childhood.”
I was born with four holes in my heart and, by a miracle, I am here today, 37 years later. When I was a child, my mother lived in fear. She didn’t want me to play too hard and always asked if I was okay. It was understandable because she had lost me once on the operating table, and the doctors brought me back to life. Neither she nor the doctors had much hope in my long-term survival. Needless to say, I had a sheltered childhood.
I remember my parents having an argument when I was 9 about me playing soccer. My father understood that I needed a chance to be a kid. I played soccer for 13 years, coached it for 2 and refereed for a season. Today I still play indoor soccer a few times a month. My father understood that my mother’s fear of losing me was taking over my childhood. Fear had taken over her and was affecting the way that she was raising me.
Five years ago, I went into the doctor because my heart had a small leak. I thought that I should get it fixed before it got worse. My doctors decided to run some tests. Right before the test they had me sign a waiver because there was a risk of death. At that point, I became afraid and so did my wife. The chance of dying and leaving her unprepared, without enough money to support herself and our two kids made me very afraid.
I hid my fear from everyone and was rolled into the operating room. There I learned that I was going to be awake for the entire test. “It can’t be that bad,” I thought. “This should be easy.” But in the back of my mind, was the fear that something was going to go wrong. My fear was present and it was potent and that was okay.
I heard the doctor say, “we are going to pace your heart and we need you to count backwards from 20.” So I started 20…19…18…17… I really didn’t like the feeling in my chest; my heart was responding, and I was just lying there. 16… 15…14… I started to feel woozy. 13… My mind was rushing. What if something goes wrong? How is she going to survive without my pay check? My kids are not going to have their father. What are they going to do? I am going to miss so much…
“There was no more fear, no more ‘what if?’”
Then nothing… There was no more fear, no more “what if?” Just nothing… Then something… I started to hear something. I must be waking up.
I started to hear music, wonderful music that not only pierced every fiber of my being. It was the kind of music that never ended and you never wanted it to end. Before I knew it, I was surrounded in waves of peace… peace that canceled everything out… peace that passes understanding… peace that tells you that you are okay… peace that removes fear… the fullness of peace that is immeasurable and all-consuming and peace that reminds you that everything is going to be okay, because it is from God.
“Mr. Emineth?” I heard, “Are you okay? Can you hear me? Just nod your head.” My eyes slowly opened, and I had the strangest sensation that my body was moved without me knowing it.
Tears rushed down my cheeks and the peace that I was feeling slowly faded. The last feeling I remember was the reassurance that God had me, that He has my family and that there is nothing to fear.
Freedom from Fear
I literally had to die to conquer my fear, and it wasn’t just the fear of losing my family or how to provide for them after death but all of my daily fear. I don’t advise dying to conquer anything, but the lesson I learned in how to conquer fear is really simple.
“How to conquer fear is really simple.”
There really is nothing to be afraid of when you place your life into God’s hands. God is everywhere, all the time, and knows everything.
What better place is there to put your life? What better person to give your fear? Releasing your fear and giving it to God allows you to live in trust.
God knows you, knows what you will do, knows where you will go, your future, your past, the things you hide from everyone else. There is nothing to fear in handing your fear over to Him. You can hold on to your fear of “what if?” or you can give it to the One who knows what will happen. If you are living in fear, you are not living in trust.
Trust the One who created you, and pray this prayer with me.
Dear Jesus, I am afraid. I am afraid you are not there; that you are not hearing me. I am afraid of what may happen, and I am afraid of trusting you. I need you to show yourself to me, so that I can place my trust in you. I need you to become real to me so that I can give you my fear. I need to trust You, my Creator, my Savior. You loved me so much to die for me and you died to take away the fear that haunts me. I surrender my life, my fear over to you. Please come into my heart, give me peace and help me to trust that you have me in your arms. Amen.
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