Life is difficult
Fears can get in our way, yet
God delivers us
Fear is one feeling that is universal for human beings. Everyone – no matter how young or old, rich or poor – fears something. Rational fears are usually good, as they tend to keep us from doing things that may put us at risk of self-harm. For example, the fear of getting too close to an open fire is usually rational because fire can burn us. It is irrational fear, though, that keeps us from pursuing goals, following our dreams, and serving God to the best of our ability.
For a long time, the fear of what other people might think of me if I said or did something a certain way acted as an inhibitor in my life. As a result, it became very difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with God because I always felt boxed in by my irrational fear. It wasn’t until I began to realize that fear was taking the place of God in my life that I self-reflected and asked God for help.
One day, I stumbled upon the part of the Bible where Jesus prayed and asked His Heavenly Father to spare Him from the impending pain He would have to endure.1 This was the moment leading up to His betrayal and crucifixion, a period of intense distress. Even knowing ahead of time that He would die and be resurrected, Jesus still displayed human anguish. Jesus yielded to His Father’s will and was nailed to the cross, but the fact that He feared – even briefly – made me realize that I am not alone in my fear.
Fear is a human emotion, and as long as we are humans, we will have to face fears big and small. Personally, I know that I face both rational and irrational fears. Although this is true, I find solace in the fact that the greatest Person to walk this earth also feared, but He overcame His fear by faithfully depending on His Father – the same Father who knows and cares for me. When I internalize that thought, it becomes easier to disregard fear and regard the One who can calm my fear. For me, focusing on God helps me to overcome otherwise debilitating thoughts and worries.
Jesus later became the greatest blessing to the world. I hope we can all find comfort in knowing that even in facing our various fears, we are not alone, nor do we have to be.
1 Matthew 26:36-39, 42
Originally published in The Williams Telos Issue 14, FEAR
Written by Eugene Amankwah ’23