“When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 20:1)
The flight attendant asked Maggie what she would like to drink, and she said, “Apple juice, please.” Everyone else was unbuckling their seatbelts and digging in their bags for books or iPods, but Maggie just kept her belt buckled and sat straight up with her hands tightly clutching the loop of her backpack. Her seat was right next to the aisle, and she was trying to keep at least one flight attendant in sight at all times. You see, Maggie hated to fly, especially by herself. Oh sure, there were a hundred or so more people on the plane with her, but none of them were her dad.
No, her dad was probably just getting home now after dropping her off at the airport. They had spent a fun weekend together, even visiting an amusement park. She was never afraid to ride the roller coasters when her dad rode next to her. Now, she was stuck on this plane, thousands of feet above the highest of any of those roller coasters, and no dad sitting next to her. Not a good feeling. And this was how it was going to be, every other weekend – for years, probably – home with Mom in St. Louis one day, flying off to Kansas City the next day to be with Dad.
Do you have someone or something that takes away your fear? Some people are afraid of the dark, and they like to sleep with a nightlight turned on. Maggie is afraid of flying, and of going on roller coasters – but it’s ok for her when her dad is along. There are kids who like to carry a certain blanket or stuffed animal with them because it helps them to feel brave. Some grown-ups feel brave only if they have a lot of money in the bank or if they have good medical insurance. Human beings are fearful. We fear monsters or bad dreams. We are afraid of pain. We are afraid to fail. We are afraid to try new things because we are afraid to fail!
God is not afraid of anything! He does not need to be! Think about it: God is perfect; so He can never sin or make a mistake or let someone down. God is all-powerful; so there is nothing bigger or greater or stronger than He is. God is all-knowing; so nothing is ever a surprise to Him, and He never has to guess how a hard situation is going to turn out. God is sovereign, which means He is always in control of everything that happens. No roller coaster could scare God. Problems that our families have are not a surprise to God, and nothing in the whole world is too hard for God.
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, God promises His people that He is their God and that He will not leave or forsake them. He tells them “be not afraid” because He knows He is stronger than all of their enemies. He is greater than all the things they were afraid of. What do you fear? What “enemies” do you face that might cause you pain or worry? Is there something you are afraid to try because you know you might mess up? If you are trying to love and trust and obey God, you are putting your faith in a God Who is not afraid of anything.
Maggie does not have to be afraid. If she is trusting in God, it is ok that her dad and mom are in two separate cities, and it is ok that neither of them are on that plane with her. Psalm 56:3 has a message for us humans when we are afraid: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Like God has promised all throughout the Bible, He will never leave His people or forsake them. Maggie is not alone on that plane, if she is placing her trust in God. The God of the Bible has no fear, because there truly is nothing for Him to be afraid of. If you are trusting in the God of the Bible, you can be “casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7).
The God of the Bible has no reason to be fearful, and those of us who trust Him do not need to be afraid, either.
» What things make me really afraid? Should they?
» How can remembering Who God is and what He has done help me to trust Him when I am fearful?