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The Creeping Critter
II Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Insects are such a nuisance! I’ve decided their only purpose is to help the pesticide companies stay in business. Personally, I love to sit on my porch or my back deck and enjoy the nice weather (when it arrives). The problem comes when the insects arrive too. They buzz around your head, waiting for the right moment to strike. When they do, the welt rises; the itch starts, and the loss of a few blood cells is a reality. We fight back with a bug zapper, a can of pesticide spray, and a few citronella candles.
Fear is a lot like that insect. It can buzz around in your head, tormenting you with dread, while you wonder when its sting will strike. There are people who live their lives looking at life through fear spectacles. That perspective can come through past traumas, through words spoken to us by abusive authorities, or through fear based individuals who have influenced us. The problem with fear is that it can paralyze our lives and keep us caged up in worry, anxiety, and dread. Leaving the safety of the caged place is difficult because fear thoughts warn us to not venture beyond our narrow controlled environment. Fear has a friend called control, that will try to keep everything in order so there are no surprises. The problem escalates when the buzz in your head comes in for a strike.
On our front porch, we discovered a wasp nest in our light fixture. Inside the nest were these small larvae creatures, destined to become wasps. We destroyed the larvae, took down the nest and cleaned up our porch. In the same way, fear thoughts have to be removed much like the wasp larvae. They have to be destroyed before they become dangerous to our freedom and abundant life. The Bible says it this way, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” II Corinthians 10:5 We destroy the larvae before it takes on a life of its own.
According to Psychology Today, “Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels also increase risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy….Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress by the adrenal glands as part of the fight-or-flight mechanism.” (1) So no wonder, the Bible says to “fear not” 365 times, one for every day of the year. So how do we get rid of fear, first recognize the negative thought, and replace it with another one? Find those 365 scriptures that say “fear not”, and read them every time those thoughts come. Secondly, know the truth. Michel de Montaigne said: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” According to one study (2), at least 85% of what we worry about never happens. Thirdly, surround yourself with positive people. Personally, I would rather be with a Tigger than an Eeyore. (see The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.) Fourth, remember the promise in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Trust the Lord; take those negative thoughts captive, (destroy the larvae), read those “fear not” scriptures, and choose your friends wisely. Abundant life awaits you!