“In Your light fear is banished from the darkest night.”Rachel Macri
I don’t like spiders, yet I live in Australia, a country that has over 2,000 species of spiders and is home to the most dangerous spiders in the world. Living in a country such as this, I am aware of the potential danger and yet I don’t walk around constantly looking for spiders… which is why I have run into spider webs countless times! Yuck! When you’re a thick-hair girl it is a nightmare that comes with the inevitable question – “Where’s the spider?”
I have often had to shoo unwanted little creatures from the shower in order to use it. While I’m a ‘sharing is caring’ kind of person, I don’t like to share my shower with creepy crawlies. Recently, I was innocently going about my business preparing to take a shower, having removed my clothes in my closet and was walking to the ensuite when I was stopped in my tracks by an unwanted visitor in my bedroom!
I had not only taken my clothes off but my glasses as well (hello! tri-focals!) so this visitor was blurry but I KNEW what it was. Just looking at it caused every hair to stand up all over. I slowly crept around it, cringing as I went, desperately looking for something to ‘take care of it’. I found a good ‘ol Aussie thong (that’s a flip flop for you Americans, not the underwear) and crept back the other way in order to sneak up on it. We have spiders that JUMP in Australia! (Feel free to pause and shudder at the thought!) Pleased with myself for being so stealthy and not alerting it to my presence, I got as close as I dared and WHACK! I smashed my little black hair clip!
There I was in my birthday suit going to battle to protect myself from an inanimate object. I realized how ridiculous I looked and laughed until I cried (or maybe I cried in relief because it wasn’t a spider). As I went ahead and took a nice hot shower to still my nerves, I began to think about how past experiences with spiders determined my fear, anxiety and response in that moment. I began to think about how I had set aside the ‘help’ I depend on. Without my glasses I could not clearly interpret what I was seeing. The result was both foolish and embarrassing.
I think we all do this at times in our life. We allow past experiences to dictate our reaction to a present circumstance and we can end up looking pretty silly for allowing fear to control us. Fear can be tormenting and cause us to do things we wouldn’t normally do if we were being rational. (Fighting over toilet paper?) Fear drives rational thinking out of the window! Fear is not only based on past experiences but it pushes us a step further because it plays on what MIGHT happen. The ‘unknown’ factor. As I think back to the incident with the non-spider, I had to ask myself: “Why so extreme Rachel?” Sure, I’ve been bitten by a spider but have never gotten sick, been hospitalized or died from a spider bite. Thankfully! so the big question is: “What’s so scary then?” Uh…hmmm, I don’t know. Exactly! The unknown. The big ‘WHAT IF’.
Xenophobia is the irrational sense of fear that we experience about a person, group of persons, or a situation that is strange or foreign to us and we perceive as being dangerous. Or, the fear of ‘what if’. This type of fear dominates your imagination and plays on other fears (like arachniphobia – the fear of spiders). I believe the majority of the world’s popuation is battling this type of fear at this present time. There is so much ‘unkown’ that we are facing right now and people are reacting, and over-reacting, in fear of ‘what if’. The truth is that in every situation, we choose whether to give in to fear or not.
Do you know there are 365 scriptures that tell us to “fear not”, “do not fear”, or “don’t be afraid”? That’s one encouraging scripture dealing with fear for every day of the year. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says that; “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” Or the Amplified Bible says it more clearly this way; “God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgement and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” Wow! This is good news. Simply put, we don’t have to be ruled by fear.
A sound mind determines that while I don’t know everything about a situation, I know that I can adhere to sound advice from those who have more information than I do. I can do things to protect myself and others. I can pray and give the burden of worry regarding the situation to God. I can read the promises of God in His Word and trust that they are true because He has proven them to me. I can hold onto peace and refuse to allow my imagination to run wild with improbable scenarios. This applies to all circumstances.
My friend, don’t allow fear to be the unwanted visitor in your home and make a fool of you. I hope that as you have read this it has both made you laugh and encouraged you. You don’t have to be afraid. If you struggle with fear and anxiety please contact me, I would like to help you overcome it. Here are two scriptures which I believe will help you and is something I have learned to dwell on every day.
Psalm 55:22 TPT
“So here’s what I’ve learned through it all: leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you.”
1 Peter 5:7 TPT
“Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there for He always tenderly cares for you.”
Until next time,