By Chantel Adams
Imagine a show where your greatest fears become reality.
That was the premise of Fear Factor, one of the first reality TV shows to rule the small screen in the early 2000s. I found the show riveting, but that’s because I wasn’t the one sitting alone in a dark cave or eating bugs or letting snakes crawl all over my body. As I gulped down cookies and ice cream, I watched the show from the safety of my couch.
My own personal fear factors are far less gruesome, but equally as grueling. I’m afraid of all the regular things like,
Why does that mole on my back look so weird?
Will my kids get into a decent college?
Should I take a chance on this business idea?
My mind races. My body gets paralyzed. I fill the silence with thoughts that justify my worry, validate my anxiety, and confirm my doubt.
“Tell me what to do, God. I’m scared! Can you hear me? Help me!” I beg.
And over and over again, I hear nothing, even though I know that God can part seas and roll away stones and tear down walls. Why does he seem to do that for other people and not for me?
There was a guy in the Old Testament named Samuel. He used to lie in his bed and wait for God to speak to him. There was another guy named Elijah who paused at the mouth of a cave until the Lord passed by and told him what to do.
And you know what? God met each man there in the silence, and there was no mistake that it was God doing the talking.
Maybe it’s time for me to stop telling God what to do, so I can pay attention to what he's up to.
Like Samuel of the Old Testament, I want to be able to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
The silence should be my shelter, not the source of my greatest fears.
Questions for Reflection:
· The gift of fear is faith and wisdom. Can you think of any other gifts that have come as a result of your fear?
· Have you ever been so paralyzed by fear that you were afraid to take a next step? How will you make time to listen this week?