I’ve heard many speakers pronounce that fear is the opposite of faith and I believe it’s true. By taking every day as it comes in faith and believing that something good will come of it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to deal with fear. As a matter of fact it seems to pound on my door at every opportunity in order to get me to worry about something I have no real knowledge or control of.
For example, my son likes to go out with his friends, like all teenagers. His friends are really nice boys who stay away from trouble as best they can, but they are still boys and teenagers, which means trouble could be lurking in their near future without them even really trying. When it comes to girls, I don’t really expect them to always make the best decisions. He told me about his friend who had started to miss a lot of school coincidentally at the same time of a close female friend. He was getting worried about how much school his friend was missing and how it would affect his grades. He knew his friend was probably skipping school with the girl, but he had no proof. He talked to his friend’s father about it who promised to correct the situation. His friend found out and stopped talking to him for the day. They made up, however, and two days later went together with some of their other friends to the fair. When my son didn’t get home until well after his curfew, the stories in my mind became more and more dramatic. I was determined not to worry, though, and ignored what my imagination was trying to do. That was hard because I came up with some doozies. First, I imagined them not really being at the fair and having a party with alcohol somewhere. Then, I imagined his friend only pretending to forgive him and then once they were at the fair, he would take him to the parking lot, beat him up and then leave him. Needless to say, my imagination wasn’t helping me at all. It also didn’t help that I had specifically asked him to text me when they left and let me know if they were doing anything different. Well, he hadn’t texted me at all. I went to bed determined to not demonstrate any anxiety. I had to fully trust God on this one and act on that trust. He did come home late, but it was only a little after midnight and he had texted me that he was going to be late, with an apology, but I didn’t check my phone again.
I have to let faith take control when situations like this arise, because if I let fear take control, what will happen is my son will lose faith in me. He will believe that if I don’t believe him, then he might as well act out my suspicions. I went through this with my daughter, unfortunately, and I know the consequences. She’s still not perfect, but neither is my son and neither am I. Are we afraid to live because of our imperfections? NO! We live because we have been given mercy for our imperfections through the only perfect One, Jesus Christ. We trust in Him to guide us through each situation and pray for wisdom to face the next circumstance with increased faith. That way fear has no way to take hold and lead us the wrong way.
Now, with that perspective, how do we feel about the threats coming in from ISIS, Ebola exposure, enterovirus, and a lot more that I probably don’t even know about? Do we let fear take over and watch the whole thing escalate, or do we pray for wisdom and walk in FAITH? Personally, I prefer the peaceful walk of faith over fear any day.