Scared of Fear

4 05 2010

Caedmon and I were a little late getting to school the other day and as we were walking towards the building another tardy tot was coming from the other direction. He was running towards us while looking to his left as his dad or mom drove the car that he was trying to keep up with. The little Liddell turned towards the school just before us and I playfully said “racing your dad huh?”

He must have misheard me because his facial expression went from innocent, childhood fancy to writhing fear in quicker than you can say Jason Voorhees. His pace instantly quickened as I (from his perspective) stalked him towards the door. He grabbed the door handle and opened the door just enough to allow his wiry frame to squeeze through and pulled the door shut behind him. Frighteningly enough I too opened the door and followed him into the school of horror. He had sprinted to the counter to stamp his tardy slip and was out the next door faster than a Ricky Vaughn fastball. But, I was unrelenting and as soon as our tardy pass was stamped the chase continued. As I stepped out into the corridor his horrified eyes found mine as he was walking backwards away from me like a cornerback dropping into coverage. Finally he turned to escape and began to run; only to walk as he passed in front of room windows. SPRINT…walk briskly…SPRINT…walk briskly… until I graciously entered Caedmon’s classroom and let the child survive.

That little boy got me thinking about fear. Dictionary.com defines fear this way… “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be in fear. This idea of fear gives us pause when we hear the Bible talking about fearing God.

When the Bible talks about fearing God, it isn’t referring the definition above. The words used, like “yare,” had reverence in mind when they were penned. Dictionary.com defines reverence as…a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration. Now that’s more like it.

Do you ever watch the people who work with lions and alligators who do ridiculous things like stick their heads in these creatures mouths and think…”that guy deserves whatever he gets!”

Every time we think that, we understand the Biblical idea of fear. It is one thing to train a lion to hop onto a platform it is a whole different jar of salsa to place your cranium into his gazelle-hole. It lacks respect for the fact that the animal is a designed killer and at any moment it could decide you are dinner. It’s foolish. Entertaining I guess… but foolish none the less.

Our posture should be with God one of incredible respect, awe, and reverence…fear. We must appreciate that He is God and can do powerful things beyond our imagination because He made everything. We must also appreciate that He would be totally justified should He decide to end things this moment because He made everything. It’s His game.

We don’t need to walk around terrified of some supernatural dictator of pain; but we do need to respect that He is holy and powerful.

While it is absolutely true that God is holy, powerful, wrathful, and just. It is equally true that He is righteous, servant minded, loving, and kind.

This video displays profoundly the idea of our awesome, powerful God and the love He has for us…

Wasn’t that wild?

Just be encouraged today that the most powerful force our universe will ever know desires to be your friend. We have no need to be scared of fear, on the contrary, we must embrace fear. I don’t know about you but when I end up face to muzzle with the Lion of Judah I want Him to see me as the Lion up there saw that lady and not like an enemy. The only way that can happen is if we accept his offer of friendship. That offer is the gift of His Son, Jesus… and I ain’t lion! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself)

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