It’s sad that most of us take counsel of our fears, become immobilized by their terror, and seldom become the people God created us to be. We’ve allowed our fears to fly in the face of our dreams. If this is where you find yourself at this time, I encourage you to pray the following prayer. It helps me whenever I descent into the deep midnight of my own soul.
“Lord, in my darkest hour of fear and anxiety, help me remember that your love casts out fear. Help me to know that there are more people for me than against me, and that you want the best for me and my life. Yes, Lord, I am fearful and filled with anxieties, and they are tearing me apart. And to be completely honest, sometimes I even wonder if you are there. You are there, aren’t you, Lord? Help me in my fear and in my unbelief. Teach me how to reach out to you, to know I’m not alone, and to never again take counsel of my fears. I know you have already answered this prayer of my heart. Amen.”
In an article titled, “Taming Your Fears: Where to Go When Life Gets Scary,” Carol Kent writes,
What happens to us when we experience fear? First, something or someone triggers our fear. It may be a real or an imagined fear. Second, comes my response to the trigger (shock or terror, shame or withdrawal), but fear is what it is really about. Third, we realize our helplessness. We are carried along on an emotional wave — perhaps of rage. Fourth, we feel betrayed. How can this happen to me? How can he or she or life or God let me down so completely?
Precisely. And this is where you and I have a decision to make. We can choose to go it alone, hoping against hope that we’ll have the reserve to claw our way out of our own prison of anxiety and despair. Or we can choose a better way, as Carol concludes,
On the other hand, we can choose the constructive route — to let our raging and thrashing bring us to our knees before God. Like the psalmist who wrote, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3), we can trust God to take us through whatever lies ahead. In Him we can face the past and accept the truth; we can reveal who we are and not be consumed with shame. I can set my sail, even knowing there will be fearful winds ahead and uncertain rocks beneath the surface. (1)
There are times when our fears are terrifying ghosts from a distant past, completely unrelated to today’s reality. Make a decision to choose a more constructive route — a better way.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 37 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.
(1) Carol Kent, “Taming Your Fears: Where To Go When Life Gets Scary,” Servant 40 (fall 1995): 4-6