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Holding It All Together-Afraid Or Afraid Not

By Amy McCollom
Just thought I would let you know that I am writing this on Friday, October 13. There is a black cat sitting across from me on a brown leather recliner. I have a ladder leaning against the wall in my dining room, as I intend to finish dusting out my tall bookcases and purge unwanted books this afternoon. When I stepped out onto my front porch to get the mail this morning, there was a delicate spider web about the size of a paper plate draped across the porch from the steps to the railing. I left it alone, anxious to see if a colorful Harvest spider (otherwise known as a Halloween Spider) would come around to feast near dusk. 

After I finish this column, I plan on getting my pet rats out of their cages and giving them some one-on-one play time, as they both reached out to grab me through the bars of their cages this morning, so I know they miss my attention.

Did anything I just say give your heart a stir? Did fear rise up even a little bit inside of you at the thought of Friday the 13th, the black cat, the ladder, the spider web, the spider, or the rats? Would it stop you from coming to my house for a cup of tea? We are all afraid of something, and that fear is based upon our past experience, our environment, or suggestions we have heard but not experienced. 

According to the internet, the most common fears are: dogs, needles, public speaking / social phobia, death / dead things, clowns / dolls, heights, flying, germs, crowded places or open places, small or closed spaces, spiders, and snakes. I have seven kids, so I have become quite familiar with everything on that list over the years, and not much scares me now. I learned a thing or two that helps me overcome fear, and now I’m sharing it with you.

There is good fear, and phobia fear. Good fear is the caveman instinct you have deep within your brain that keeps you alive. It tells you not to put your hand in a fire, or not to let go of a branch from 20 feet in the air because it will hurt really bad when you hit the ground and you might die from it. That fear was put there to keep you alive. It is your most powerful natural emotion.

Phobia fear is a fear of something that really makes no sense because there is no real threat of harm. I saw a video of a lady who was afraid of a picture of peaches. I am not kidding. I don’t know what a peach ever did to her to make her so afraid of them, but there is nothing I can think up in my head that would constitute a reason to be afraid of a tasty fruit. Phobia fears are irrational and can be overcome with the help of therapy most of the time. Thank goodness.

There is also another good fear; the fear of God. This is the core fear that we all need. When we realize the power that God has to destroy His enemies, that angels bow down to Him, that even Satan shudders in His presence, we begin to understand how small we are in front of Him. *The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When we realize God made the whole Earth and everything in it and can destroy it (and us) with just a word, if we are smart, we revere Him. When we understand how mighty and sovereign and everlasting God is, we have a healthy fear of Him, of not pleasing Him, and not having Him as our friend and Master. That is a very good fear. It is a fear that will keep us doing good and not evil.

I remember being taught when I was a child that God was always watching me. That He saw and heard everything I did and said. He wrote down my deeds in a book, and to get into Heaven I had to have only good deeds in His book. I had a healthy conscience and always felt guilty when I did something wrong, which was rare.

When I went to church and Sunday school, I knew not to act up. Church was God’s house and it was a sacred place. I didn’t dare act a fool, talk loud, eat in the sanctuary, run, play, or disrupt anything. I sat up, listened even when it was boring, and acted appropriately. My siblings and I didn’t even have parents there to make us mind, they sent us to church by ourselves, and we still were good! We had the good fear of God in us and knew better than to act up in the House of God. Why aren’t parents teaching this to their kids today? 

The bottomline is, if we fear and revere God enough to realize He is all we need, and follow His commandments, we don’t have to fear anything else in this world. He will be our shelter, our fortress, our covering wings. And that is the peace that we cannot buy. Man needs to stop trying to be their own god and let God be the God of everything.

Fear God enough to obey Him. He brought you into this world; He can take you out. Let’s raise up our children and grandchildren to fear God too.

(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)

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