THE FEAR OF A THING IS OFTEN WORSE THAN THE THING ITSELF
In this psalm of David, he prayed aloud saying, “Hear my voice, O God.” This was not a moment of silence or quiet prayer. David cried out to the Lord in desperation, that God would “preserve” his life. What terrible enemy did he fear? Answer: Fear. He asked God to rescue him “from fear.” It seems from the following verse that his enemy was a hidden one, making “secret plots” against David.
Everyone from childhood on knows that an unseen enemy is the most terrifying. During the day a bedroom closet is a place for one’s clothes and games of hide-and-seek. But during the night it holds terrible imaginary beasts that peer out of its dark shadows and disturb our sleep.
At FDR’s first inaugural address, he stood before a Congress and a nation that was frozen in fear brought on by the stock market crash of 1929 and the resulting Great Depression. Addressing this national anxiety, he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He knew that the nation would never recover, while panic and fear still prevailed.
Fear causes us to feel powerless, selfish and confused. A worldwide pandemic and economic decline is one thing, but a nation overwhelmed by fear is worse because it strips us of the very thing we need to overcome, namely, hope.
Let us declare as David did in an earlier psalm, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psa. 27:1).
PRAYER: Dear Father, we cry out to You today in prayer, knowing that You hear us. For we have Jesus as our Mediator, seated at Your right hand even now, representing our need to You. We fear You alone, therefore we shall not fear any other. For You are greater that all. We pray that we would be fearless in our care and compassion for others during these dark days. Strengthen us to be the hands and feet of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.