Fear Factor

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:1-2‬ ‭


My apologies to all you snake lovers out there, but double ugh.

I just hate them.

I mean, think about it.

Scales. Forked tongues. Lidless eyes. That sneaky, furtive, creepy way of slithering about on the ground. The thought of a snake dropping out of a tree onto my shoulders is enough to give me the shakes.

No. Thank. You.

We all have fears and phobias. Yours might be spiders, or natural disasters, or disease. Many of us have a few unsettled feelings about our own deaths. On some level, most of us live with anxieties of some sort.

We fear failure. The thought of being rejected or abandoned can trigger panic for some. We don’t like making mistakes. The thought of going broke and being unable to meet our family’s basic needs is a biggie.

So many reasons to feel anxious. So many reminders that we have so little control…

The shoulder muscles tighten. Breaths come faster. The old ticker beats rapidly. Hands feel sweaty. We start responding in ways we wouldn’t normally choose if we were thinking logically and clearly.

Whatever your anxiety feels like inside your body, it doesn’t feel good.

So the idea in this verse of earthquakes and mountains crumbling into the sea is terrifying. Talk about raising the heart rate and bringing on a panic attack! It’s something from an apocalyptic movie.

Definitely unsettling and anxiety-inducing.

Like a snake curling itself around my shoulders…

But look at the hope here, in the middle of catastrophic disaster!

We will not fear.

We will not fear!

Why not?

Not because of a cushy bank account. Not because of a high-powered executive job, or a fantastic self esteem, or a fierce guard dog. Not because of a knowledge of karate, or access to an impenetrable fortress.

The answer is found in the character of God.

Because He is a refuge, we don’t need that bunker. Because He is strong, we needn’t hire a body guard. Because He is present, ready to help, willing to bend close and get His hands dirty and enter our mess with us, we don’t need to fear.

Does that mean I’m automatically good with snakes?

Er – no. Not so much.

Do I still struggle with anxiety sometimes?

You bet I do.

But it does mean that I have a strategy to help me deal with my fear factor. It means that as I spend time looking at God’s beauty and faithfulness, my death grip on the things that frighten me loosens. If I hinge my safety, my well-being, my productivity, my value in those strong and capable arms, I can let go of my need to control the ‘snakes’ in my life and look to the One who loves me so well for answers and security.

Make one step into dealing with your fear factor with me?

Father, there are so many things that make us afraid. We feel helpless and hopeless in the face of things we can’t control. Remind us of Your character and Your promises when we are tempted to slip into fear and anxiety. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at growing-in-grace.ca, and my poetry is stashed at melodylowes.com. Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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