Yesterday morning we headed to school as normal. My eldest son left a few minutes earlier on his bike. After telling one particular child to ‘stay focused’ for the 100th time, the rest of us finally managed the miracle of getting shoes, coats and bags on, and we made it out the door, whizzing down the road on a combination of scooters and Heelys.
Halfway through the journey, I noticed all the cars were slowing down, and further down the road they were being diverted down another route. As we edged a little closer, I noticed a figure in the middle of the road covered in a foil blanket, with an abandoned bike at the side of the road.
Fear began to creep up my throat, as I realised we were witnessing an accident, and there was a chance (only a small chance…but still, a chance) that the figure in the middle of the road could be my eldest son. I started to pray, and as I neared the scene I realised it was someone else, who appeared injured but conscious. I prayed for this guy again and walked on, as there were already lots of people attending the scene.
I couldn’t shake it off all morning, but then the day got busier, and my mind switched to other things. On my run home, later that day, my mind returned back to that scene.
I prayed for the man again, and then I recalled how I hadn’t only felt fear for my son – I’d actually dwelled on how I would react if he had been involved in the accident: I played out in my mind how to I could call for help, and I imagined the conversation I would have with my husband.
And I realised I’d not only let fear enter my heart – I’d let him in the door, made him a cup of tea and given him the best seat in the house.
I’m sure most of you don’t take things to this extreme. But fear knocks at all of our doors at different points and over different issues. We only have to read the news to see the impact that fear has in our world.
Bad things happen to good people all the time. We see that throughout history. We see it in current events. I see it in the lives of those I love. That’s a huge issue, and I’m not trying to address it here. One day I may experience a devastating personal tragedy. And if that day comes, I will have to walk through that valley, following my Shepherd as I walk through the darkness.
But living in the shadow of death, of fear, (especially in relation to events that haven’t even happened) is not living in the fullness of the peace and life that I know I can experience through Jesus.
As I continued to reflect, I began to run to the rhythm of these words:
faith over fear … faith over fear … faith over fear … faith over fear …
I share a particular mantra with one of my friends: when one of us is clearly believing a lie about ourselves, we tell each other to kick it back to the pit of hell, right where it belongs. Well, you know what? Fear belongs in the pit of hell. But sometimes we welcome him in, rather than giving him the boot.
When fear knocks at my door, I can choose to welcome him in, or meditate on something different: I can choose faith over fear.
Faith is being certain of what we do not see. Faith remains hopeful about the goodness of God, even when we cannot see it. Faith is honed by hearing the truth of who God is, as laid out in the bible.
I was reminded of the following quote – I don’t know who said it:
If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate.
I think my capacity to worry more than proves that I have all the required resource to meditate on truth.
I open the door to fear when I forget who God is.
I open the door to fear when I forget who I am in God’s sight.
I open the door to fear when I try and scoop everything in my own hands and take control of everything.
I open the door to fear when I lose sight of God’s truth.
Who gets the best seat in your house?
faith over fear …faith over fear … faith over fear … faith over fear