Afraid of the Dark

Psalm 56:3 – When I am afraid, I will trust in You. (HCSB)

Philippians 4:6-7 – do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 We all have things that we worry about. Sometimes we worry almost to the point of panic. You would think we would get pretty good at distinguishing the risks likeliest to do us harm from the ones that are statistical long shots, but you would be wrong. Several years ago people agonized worryover Bird Flu, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, only one person in the US actually was infected and no one in the US died from Bird Flu. Again, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the common flu causes around 36,000 American deaths each year, but about 64.8% of Americans don’t get a flu shot. People choose to drive long distances because they believe that flying is dangerous, but, according to the US Department of Energy, a few hundred people die each year in commercial airline crashes while about 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States — one death every 13 minutes. In 2005 in the US, about 42,636 people were killed in auto accidents. In 2002 the US auto accident death toll was 42,815 people.  Several years ago my husband and I were in St. Louis when a radio personality announced “there’s no sharks in the Mississippi River” except he slurred his words enough to make it sound as if he was saying “there’s snow sharks in the Mississippi River”, and people were in pure panic mode! Fredrick W. Cropp said “There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid.” In John 14:1 Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. The word He used means not to let your heart shudder. He is basically saying that things may look really bad from your perspective but don’t worry about it. Philippians 4:6-7 says that instead of worrying to pray, tell God what we’re concerned about, ask for His comfort and calmness. In The Purpose of Christmas, Rick Warren writes “The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You’ll feel more patient and less pressured.”  Lord, I thank You that I can bring my fears and anxieties to You. Just as a child needs a nightlight to destroy the fears hiding in the darkness, I need Your light to destroy the fears that hide within me. There is much darkness in the world, but John 1:5 tells me that darkness will not overcome the light.

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