Fear can come in many shapes and sizes. Fear of getting sick, fear of getting hurt, fear of the unknown, fear of taxes...name it and there is a fear of just about anything.
I know there is such thing as a "healthy" fear and that is not what I am talking about today. It is healthy to fear God...not in a task-master kind of a way...more like you are in awe of His Majesty. There is a fear of parents..when you are little you know you do not want to make them mad!! There is a fear of the government....if you don't pay taxes, you fear the consequences. Let's put that topic aside for another time and address the unwanted, unhealthy fear.
May 21, 2011 is a day that will be in the history books as a joke. Harold Camping and his "Family Radio" followers thought Jesus was coming back that day and they made all sorts of preparations. People spent their life savings on billboards to warn, people talked....some mocked, others were scared. I am a Christian and I know Jesus is coming back for His Bride. The problem is, the Bible says no one knows the day or hour.
** It is guys like Camping that make it so easy to mock True Christianity.**
There have been many predictions about the end of the world..the end of the government..the end of America. Media covers disasters and serial killers. TV shows talk about crime scenes and crazy unknown diseases. Independent media talks about genetically modified food and pesticides, cancer causing agents, chem trails, biological weapons, ______ fill in the blank. You hear about e-coli outbreaks and antibiotic resistant diseases. Don't you think all this focus....instills a huge FEAR in people? I mean, you can't go to the grocery store and always wonder if your meat is injected with growth hormones. You get nervous about buying produce because of pesticides and possible bacteria that can make you sick or kill you. You get a prescription at the pharmacy and about have a heart attack at the side effects of your medication. Car accidents, home invasions, robberies (I have a friend that just told she me she was almost robbed!), rapes, murders, dangerous animals, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes....are you getting my point? This fear can even spill over into your personal relationships. Fear your spouse will leave you, fear you will lose someone you love, fear of not finding a job, fear of losing your home...no matter what part of your life it is, fear can become an unwanted, unwelcome visitor.
With all this fear burdening people, there is another form of fear that is gripping people. Fear of OBLIGATION. Should I buy only organic food? I can't afford it, so what should I do? Should I buy gold and silver so when the economy crashes, I will have money? Should I store food and disaster supplies? Should I buy a gun for protection? Should I insure everything in the house in case it gets stolen? Should I ..should I??
It's enough to give people so much anxiety they cannot handle anything that comes their way. Is this a good thing for your heart? I would say no.
Although some of these topics are necessary and worthy of discussion, we need to make sure we have a healthy perspective. We can have goals to eat healthier or to take preventive measures with our weight, we can take steps to prepare for an economic crisis..anything...BUT WITHIN REASON. Fear should not consume you, it should not be the motivating factor to do all of these things. It's not healthy for you or your family. Sometimes we can do tons to prevent "things" from happening...and they still do. You could eat all raw/organic food and still die of a heart attack or cancer. You could have a strict workout regimen and get an injury...then have to start all over again and try to lose those pounds you gained. It's okay to be wise, but not motivated with fear. Fear steals your joy, your peace, your security. It is unhealthy and deep deep down it reveals an even bigger issue. YOU DON'T TRUST GOD. It may sound harsh....but think it through. If you trusted God with everything, you would not fear. You might be tempted to fear and struggle, but you would know God is in control and you rest in Him. I am not saying that God will put you in a plastic bubble and keep you from all harm. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. We are all susceptible to the same things as the next person. But when fear takes the place of your relationship with God, it becomes your idol, so to speak. All the measures you have taken to "prepare" become your focus, not God. It reminds me of the story in the Bible when a man had much and he wanted to tear down all he had and build bigger. He did, then died (see Luke chapter 12). The Bible didn't say he feared anything, but the preparation part spoke to my heart. I struggle with fear something fierce. Anxiety is a major unwelcome visitor in my home. When I am writing these things, it's not just for you...it's for me too.
This morning I got a magazine and it is filled with medical advice and much of it instills fear in my heart. Tons of information that I feel helpless reading. If I were to live my life like this particular doctor wanted me to, I would have broken the bank and caused grief to my family. I don't know about you but money is not something we have an over abundance of .....ever. I cannot afford to eat the way he suggests and do not have the means for some of the things he requires me to have. See, there you go...I am placing my well being in the hands of a man I do not know. But I know God, and His hands are mightier than ANY. He will protect me from some things and give me grace and peace to get through the others. God is not a genie that you rub a lamp and ask for wishes...then when you don't get your way....you get angry and reject Him. That's not the way it works. Sometimes people will say a natural disaster occurred to judge that nation or people. I would be very careful in saying that...what if it was your family? I don't think really anyone knows...unless it's spelled out in the Bible.
It's okay to take precautions, it's okay to prepare. But it's not okay to fear. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" 2 Timothy 1:7. Let's focus on The Lord and His goodness. Let's cling to Him in the good and bad times. Let's cast our cares at His feet. For He is good and His mercy endures forever.