I have some good friends named John and Jennifer from Georgia. In their home, they have a closet under the stairs nicknamed “The Hideout.”
In this closet, they have made a play area for their daughters Anna, 5, and Willa, 4. The room has a rug on the floor with a bookshelf and a Barbie house. Their children spend a lot of time reading and playing in The Hideout.
Recently, they were sitting in this special place, reading with the lights off. Anna started screaming because it was so dark. Willa, the youngest, shushed her and said, “Anna! Anna! Stop screaming. Not’ing is wrong. God is in our brains, and there’s not’ing to be ‘fraid of!”
My dear little Willa, you are quite the theologian for someone so young. You are right; we do have God in our minds. Fear comes in all shapes and forms.
Some people are fearful of the dark, as your sister was that day; some are fearful of speaking in public. Others are fearful of heights, flying, snakes, spiders, going to the dentist, enclosed spaces, mice, thunder and lightning or dogs.
Fear comes to us in so many ways that to count them would be like trying to count the stars scattered across the heavens. Fear always come to the mind first. That is why the Bible tell us we must take every thought that comes our way captive: “we take captive every thought” (2 Cor 10:5b). That means you can’t have a fear running around your mind like a new puppy. Unrestrained fear can chew up your peace, hope and security.
Yes, Willa, I am like your sister. I too have fears, and so does everyone else who walks this earth. I have a fear of writing. Each week as I sit down to write this article, I am afraid I will have nothing to say. If I am honest with myself, the fear is not a fear of writing. It is a deeper fear: I fear failure.
As I sit looking at the computer, my mind says, “You can’t do it! You aren’t good enough; you are not a real writer.” I can’t count the number of times I have these voices coming at me.
You would think that as many articles I have written and Bible studies I have produced, that fear would go away. But it hasn’t. If you don’t believe me, ask my family.
Willa, you are right. God is in my mind, and His Word reminds me, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7, NKJV).
When you shushed your sister, that got her to listen to what you had to say. That is exactly what the Bible does for me. I have Bible verses that “shush” my fears, verses that take fear captive and remind it that it has no place in my life. And these verses replace that fear with faith.
When the fear tells me I can’t do it, God shushes that fear with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). And I am reminded there is “not’ing to be ‘fraid of.”
When that fear has taken me captive, God shushes that thought and rescues me. “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:5, NIV). And I am reminded there is “not’ing to be ‘fraid of.”
When I feel weak as the fear attacks me, God shushes that thought with ”The Lord is my strength and my shield” (Ps. 28:7a). And I am reminded again that there is “not’ing to be ‘fraid of.”
When I can’t trust my thoughts and feelings, the Scriptures shush me with “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Ps. 56:3). And I am reminded there is “not’ing to be ‘fraid of.”
As I sit down to type this article, for the thousandth time, I started in fear, but I am ending in trust. Every fear is a half-lie.
It is true, I can’t do it—but God can.
It is true, I am weak—but He is strong.
It is true I am shallow—but he is my depth.
It is true I don’t know what to say—but He will fill my mind and mouth.
It is true I have no direction—but He is the way and the truth.
It is true I am not worthy—but He has made me worthy.
Every fear and half-truth must be confronted with the whole truth. Truth is what you put in your mind, and trust is how you respond to fear.
And when you trust Him, Willa is right: “There’s not’ing to be ‘fraid of.”