Article and Photography
By: Curtis Beaird
Fear lies, cheats and steals. It dismantles our confidence, sullies our imagination and robs us of our energy. There is no life standing in the shadow of our fear. It discourages, demoralizes and finally renders us passive. Hunkered down in the semi-dark of a self-created anxiety, we wait and wait and wait.
We wait, not with a productive patience or in eager anticipation, but with the sigh of one haunted with debilitating belief that the other shoe is about to drop. Fear raises useless and wasteful questions, the “what ifs” and the “why” questions. What if I lose my job? What if we have a wreck? What if Uncle Buck gets cancer? What if there is not enough money? And of course, the real killer, why bother?
Fatigue is the telltale sign we are battling an empty fear. A hollow fear generates an unexplainable but ever present sense of tired that drags us away from the joy of our next dawn. Fear converts blessings into doubts. It whispers that whatever we have or do is not enough and not right. It always leaves us unsatisfied and wanting more.
Fear invites us to waste our imagination. An imagination void of possibility collapses on itself and becomes at best, none productive and at worst, destructive. Fear convinces us that security at all cost is the highest good. It encourages retreat. It can see only what can go wrong. Fear feeds despair. There is no life in the shadow of our fear.
Fear is subtle and masks itself in false strength. We think we have met the vague challenge or assumed threat with a firm and almost out loud “Sure, bring it on.” Really? Bragging is a thin veil covering a dark dread. The declaration, "I like a challenge," while it sounds like the announcement of our competitive edge, it more than hints at the shadow way. Fear drowns initiative in pseudo confidence. Fear fragments us. It divides and conquers. It whispers “Nothing can be done.” It generates the false conclusion, “It is too late.”
When God shows up, shabby fears are dispelled. They are replaced with the empowering awe and wonder of a God who calls us out of our self-styled, small dark corners and into his world of possibility and promise.
At Moses’ death, Joshua was replaced as the leader of the Hebrews. That calling came with more than directions to gather the people and cross a river. “Be not afraid…...” said God to Joshua. It is as though God knows we will find a reason to shy away from our best future.
“Fear not,” says the angel Gabriel to the one who was about to change the world by giving birth to the Christ. It’s as though God knows we will find a reason to shy away from the good news of His presence.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love..…” says the Apostle Paul to Christians (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). It’s as though God knows we will find reason to miss the best gifts He gives us. There is no life in the shadow of our fear.
Copyright 2011, Curtis Beaird. All rights reserved.