“Blessed is the man who fears the LORD”
Sometimes it takes reading a whole Psalm for the Lord to speak to me, and sometimes he nails me on the first verse.
I’ve been thinking about fear lately. Some people think I’m fearless in the way I handle cancer, and I have to admit, I’m not afraid of death. When fear creeps in, it’s usually about leaving those I love.
But I have other fears, and I’m becoming aware that there are lots of them, some of them controlling. I’m afraid of failure, especially if I finish the book I’m writing. What if I can’t get it published? What if I can’t promote it because of my own illness? Even worse, what if it’s a huge success – what would be the expectations?!?
I’ve always been shy. I’ve heard shyness is a fear of people, not being able to control circumstances, saying or doing the wrong thing. I don’t think of fearing people, but I can see the control issues and fear of doing something wrong.
But when I read this verse, I wonder, “Can I have two competing fears at the same time?” If I fear the Lord and he says he loves me and is living through me, can I say or do something irrevocably wrong? Is anything out of his control?
Fear seems to have some element of choice. It doesn’t have to control us. Or, we can choose what we fear most.
If I am consumed with the fear of the LORD, can I be consumed with the fear of failure?
The real issue, I’m beginning to see, is not being consumed with the fear of the Lord enough to overcome other fears.
Recently we took care of Roger’s 91 year old mother with dementia. She has always been a fearful person because of some traumatic events in her life. With dementia, her fears are even more exaggerated. But we found one thing helped. The fears melted away when she was expressing her heart in prayer.
Lord, consume me with a fear for you.
How has the fear of the Lord helped you overcome fears? I’d love to hear in the comment section…