There are two major types of fear which matter in the human experience. The first is the most pressing: anything which robs us of personal peace. In short, the things we are afraid of. These can be immediate, such as health, well-being, security, or something or someone who threatens us. While some people are braver and less fearful than others, the ultimate concern over our mortality impacts us all – whether we choose to admit it or not. In the scriptures this kind of fear originates in the word we call a phobia. Whether legitimate or imagined, the impact is the same. We are robbed of our personal peace.
The second concept for fear reflects different word(s) and idea. It has more to do with being in awe of Someone rather than something. The “fear of the Lord” is comparative: it contemplates God and His relationship to humanity and stands back in reverence. Many religious people can relate to this idea on one level or another, but in its purest form the true fear of the Lord is all about recognizing the greatness of the Living God.
Right now we find ourselves in a very fearful environment. It is for the most part not imagined (our phobias) but very real, and threatening on a massive and global level. And this very real fear can fire our thoughts and imagination on both levels. We cannot help but be impacted by the specter of death. So, we must manage this fear the best we know how. It is all around us. And directly or indirectly it is within us on some level as well.
I would encourage you (as I am myself) to balance these two fears. IF I am this fragile, and IF God is as great and as good as He says He is in the Word of God, then I can face my fears in Him. Does that make sense? So I am trying to give attention to both fears, and as I do, to entrust my pressing fear under the umbrella of God’s ultimate power over my heart, mind, and soul.
This is my comfort. This is what I offer to those I love. To my family. To my co-workers and neighbors. To those I pray for who are sick and grieving. In this sense we are within the opportunity of a lifetime. Praying ourselves and others toward the “fear of the Lord” is the kindest thing we can do. It is my mission right now. Lord God, how can I serve you in this house of fear?
And here is where I end up:
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8:37-39
Peace be with you friends.
Dave & Burnadette