Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trust: The Key To Overcoming Fear

A dark room, noises in the night, the sound of thunder, and the creature that lives under the bed are just some of the things little ones fear. None of which makes any sense. You can protect your children by carefully monitoring what they watch on TV, but somewhere, somehow, someway they all face some kind of fear at one time or another. For some it requires little more than a caring, reassuring talk from Mom or Dad while others really struggle to overcome their fears. Whatever the case, fear can dominate and cripple a child whenever it is present.

Over the past few years I've had the opportunity to walk both my boys through several of these "fear" moments. And as I mentioned earlier, most of the time it makes no sense. For instance the simple flipping of a switch to turn off a light and suddenly a room becomes a scary place. Or, you mix that dark room with a tree branch rubbing against the window and now that room is an unbearable place to be. See, what I mean, it makes no sense.

If you are a parent I'm sure you've had to deal with some crazy fears like this from time to time. Or, perhaps when you were a child you had your own fears you had to walk through. What is so ridiculous about this whole fear thing is that as we get older, it never really stops. The fears just change. And just like with those little ones, they can be dominating and crippling. Think about it. You get a sharp pain and your chest and what instantly shoots through your mind? It could be nothing more than a muscle spasm, heart burn, or gas, but why is it we often fear the worst? Or, how about when that phone rings at 3am? Or, when you hear economists on the news proclaiming how bad everything is and how it's only going to get worse?

There are millions of different ways fear manifests but often times, just like our little ones, it makes no sense. I think that fear often shows up when we are not in control. A child is scared of the dark because he can't see. He has to trust that nothing is happening even though he can't see to make sure. He fears the noises at night because he can't see what's making them and his mind begins to imagine all kinds of creatures that could make those sounds. We as adults fear the struggling economy because we can't do anything to change it. We fear that sharp pain in our chest because if it is indeed a heart attack, we can't fix it ourselves. Let's face it when we are not in control, it's not a comfortable place for us. We love it when we can fix things and handle things on our own, but when it comes to completely, totally relying on God we get a little uneasy at times.

What is so crazy is that we are talking about the Creator of the universe here. Trust me, he is much better at being in control than we are. We need to learn to trust the fact that when things are beyond our control, that they are never beyond him. When you mix that with the knowledge that He truly loves us, and wants the absolute best for us, then and only then, will we begin to live a life free of fear. It all comes down to trust. And the whole idea of trust means you have to rely on someone or something else. Throughout my life men I have trusted have failed me, and stuff I've put my trust in has failed me. But, through the years I've learned that God can be trusted.

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