Fear can sometimes seem to be all around us. It’s such a prominent and interesting emotion that there are books written about it, films created to make people feel it, and hundreds upon hundreds of “scare cam” videos on YouTube. Fear can come in a variety of ways and forms, sometimes causing us to live in the crippling grip of its seemingly unbeatable power.
For me, fear is easy to succumb to. Fear is easy to believe—whether that’s fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of being less than, fear of the unknown, or even just fear that I don’t have enough gas to make it to where I’m going! (I should really take care of that last one.) Even though fear is a very real and powerful emotion, we have a very real and powerful God who promises to lead us through it.
When David writes the in Psalm 23, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” it sparks imagery in my head of a herd of helpless sheep going through a dark canyon being led by a courageous shepherd. With no end in sight, the shepherd guides his flock through the darkest valley into the light that lies on the other side.
The sheep are you and me; the shepherd is God.
Although David wrote that centuries ago, the statement still stands. God leads us through fear and darkness—His hope is available. There have been countless times when I have felt that fear is inescapable, only to feel a peace rush through me when I turn to God in prayer. This past year was full of moments like this—small and large. Ranging from building panic to nervousness over smaller issues, fear was real for me this last year. One evening, while preparing for a big project at work, fear caught my attention. I could not stop feeling this fear that my project would not go the way I had planned and that I would fail. After overthinking for a while, I did what I thought would be best. I turned to God in prayer and asked Him to give me peace. I opened up to God, and I opened up to the people around me, and He was faithful to bring me the peace that I had prayed for and the comfort I had needed.
God led me through; fear was overcome, and there was hope.
How have you seen God lead you through a dark valley or a moment of fear before? Do you have faith that He can and will do it again? I encourage you to reach out to God as your good shepherd and ask Him to lead you through whatever moment you’re in, whether one of joy or one of fear. I truly believe that God uses His people to bring us encouragement and wisdom. Let people in. There are people who love you and desire to care for you the way God cares for you. Invite them into your fear; let them pray for you, and let them walk with you through it.
God wants to lead you, comfort you, protect you, and give you hope, even when there is fear.
If you find yourself feeling fearful, pray this prayer, “Dear God, I release to you the thoughts and feelings of fear that lay within me right now. I ask for and take on the peace that you kindly offer to me today. And I thank you that you are with me always. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
Even when there is fear, hope shines through.