Bad Old Friends

Brian Harrell   -  

An old “friend” came to visit me the other day. He makes many unwanted house calls. He is a pest and a nuisance. I need to get a restraining order.

That old “friend” is fear. That nagging old feeling that settles in the bottom of my gut at random times, always declaring the same thing – that I’m not good enough and soon everything’s going to fall to pieces. It’s that isolated feeling that I’m all alone, and everything I see is being held together by duct tape and strings which are about to give way and collapse.

Fear is real. 

Fear dredges up insecurity, high blood pressure, and a loss of appetite. Fear comes in a dark ghostly form that hovers over everything spouting lies.

Down the street from where we once lived was a man my grandkids called “dirty Gene.” It may seem cruel, but it was an apt nickname. He wore gloves and flannel all summer and always had a cigarette. Those three factors alone created a smell. At first, he used to drive slowly by the house like a one-person neighborhood watch. Then he began to stop and talk while the smoke billowed out of that old Dodge neon. Then he lost his car and started walking by the house. That’s when he seemed to take an unhealthy interest in our small grandkids. The last straw was when he walked into our kitchen, uninvited, while we were making dinner – for the second time! That was when I took action and told him never to return. I realized that dirty Gene might be a dangerous man. I had to protect my family.

Fear is a lot like dirty Gene. Fear lives just around the corner and feels no shame to barge in. Fear can be defined like this;

False Evidence Appearing Real.

What God Says About Fear.

Fear brings its godless reality and shamelessly proclaims the worst-case scenario. Anxiety, stress, and worry follow. It’s a horrible irritant. It pretends to be your friend, but it brings nothing but trouble.

Some Jewish people in the Old Testament came to have a real fear of the regional idols. The false evidence that appeared very real was that if you didn’t appease these idols, crops wouldn’t grow, women wouldn’t have children, and bad things would happen. People were afraid. Then God spoke;

Jeremiah 10:5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil; neither is it in them to do good.”

Fear is like a scarecrow; it appears to be a menacing presence, but in reality, it is nothing but a stuffed shirt attached to a pole on the ground. Scarecrows don’t scare me, but they scare the birds we don’t know any better.

How To Overcome Fear.

I’m treating fear like an unwelcome intruder these days. I’m treating fear like a scarecrow. One of the most oft-repeated commands in the Bible is “fear not.”

“Fear not” is a much better place to live!

Are you dealing with fear? That is probably a silly question because we all do. If you healthy steps to confronting your fear might be;

  • Immersing yourself in the word of God.
  • Removing fear-based media from your life and replacing it with faith strengthening media.
  • Finding support through new friends in a life group.
  • Praying and then confronting the fear.