By Chaplain Thomas Meade
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
– Psalm 56:3
David is known as “The silent dove in distant lands.” His enemies were in abundance. The word fear is used in different ways. Awe of God—Respectful/Reverent fear. Actual fear—Protective fear, Assumed danger—Chronic fear. Fear and trust are natural human emotions that each person has. I use several Scriptures for comfort, so God has His say far more than I.
The fear being referred to as “actual fear” (fight or flight), which is also referred to as “healthy fear.” David has a healthy fear and knows that only God can quiet his fears, nothing else can do it! His fear is due to when the Philistines captured him in Gath. I have heard several courageous military veterans talk about being in the trenches and fox holes during war time battles, “if someone who were in those fox holes and trenches during combat claims they had no fear, they are a liar!” That may sound harsh, but it is how they feel.
Jacob’s fear of his uncle and father in-law Laban in dispute and during Laban’s pursuit of him in anger, Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
I like the following quote, “Courage does not mean you do not get afraid. Courage means you do not let fear stop you” (author unknown). I believe fear can give rise to courage in trust, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
When I first began preaching in January of 1988, I was so afraid and practically shaking in my knees with such a responsibility in rightly handling the Word of God. This was in no comparison of my being a professional drummer for nearly 10 years playing hundreds of live performances! I kept in mind what I learned from a previous Dale Carnegie course about earning the “right to speak,” and in my research studying to earn this right to speak with much prayer putting my trust in God. Then the fear was quickly gone while preaching by the grace of God I made it through my sermon. I also knew that as much as I wanted to keep speaking—a dose of healthy fear thankfully came upon me and I came to my conclusion in a timely manner—lest perhaps not being allowed in the pulpit again any time soon. Remember, healthy fear is filled with knowledge and wisdom!
In our present situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, notice an example of healthy fear from Michael Gira, “I used to routinely break my ribs doing stupid things onstage, but I have a healthy fear of breaking my bones now.” If we follow the given instructions by using our PPE and having a healthy fear it will serve us well. I leave you now with these comforting Scriptures to meditate upon:
- “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”(1 Peter 5:7)
- “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
- “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)
- “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!” (Ps. 46:10)