There are hundreds of inspirational quotes about fear, but one of the most famous ones is from Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural address in 1933, while the country was still reeling from the Great Depression. “The only thing we have to fear….is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I added the end of his quote because I have never read that part and it seems to convey exactly what fear is all about. There is absolutely no truth or merit in what we almost always fear. We can spend our lives worrying about a plane crash, a terrorist attack, the market crashing, our health, our finances and yet can we control any of these things? In fact the fear and worry can actually make our health worse by effecting our overall immune system and we can’t do a darn thing to control most of these things in the first place.
Our church is presenting a series called Courageous and yesterday’s message was about Overcoming Fear and it was so powerful that I could hardly get up from my seat at the end of the service. It made me start thinking about how fear has impacted my life. I have let fear take control of me in my weakest moments and it has pushed me away from people that I needed and loved the most at that very moment. It made me divorce my first husband, the father of my two little boys because I was afraid he couldn’t fully love my youngest boy who was profoundly mentally retarded or my older son, or even me. Fear kept me from telling my wonderful dad goodbye and that I would miss him more than words can ever describe. Neither of us could talk about what was going to happen soon, as he counted down the five months from the initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer to the the last days of his life, neither of us brave us enough to face our final time together here on earth. More recently, as many of you know, I let my husband leave me back in early May, too afraid to run to his side and ask why he left. Too afraid to hear an answer I didn’t want to hear, and too proud to just keep my mouth closed and stay by his side while he went through the most physically painful time in his life. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” A quote from George Lucas…what a powerful statement about fear. My fear lead me straight to suffering too many times in my life.
My faith has not always been strong enough to face these enormous life events that impacted not only my life, but many others as well. I would not change a thing I did, my life has been filled with overflowing joy, endless love, and wonderful relationships with my family. What I promise to do in the future is to look to God for strength and courage. I will have faith in God at all times because I can solve none of my problems on my own. It will only fill me with negative energy and keep me from moving forward on my purposeful journey of life. With God’s help, I will be stronger and filled with positive energy, and able to focus on helping other people around me.
I want to share a favorite scripture regarding fear. Isaiah 12:2 — “God is my salvation; I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song and he has given me victory.” I believe that God’s strength will give us victory over fearing things that we simply cannot and will never be able to control. Spend your life with less fear and more happiness with your family and friends, singing songs that fill your heart with joy, dancing to a favorite tune, taking an art class, sharing a quiet dinner for two, and giving praise to the Lord God of our own.
Ask God to take the fear from your life and thank him for the blessings that surround you every day of your life.