I sought the LORD, and he answered me;Psalm 34:4 NIV
he delivered me from all my fears.
Fear can be a good thing. It keeps me from doing some things that could well end in disaster. Fear keeps me from jumping off a bridge with a rubber band tied to my ankle. It plays a role in my obeying the law while driving. Fear is a natural emotional response that helps me to survive in this world.
But there is also a negative aspect to fear. That same fear that helps to preserve my life can also cripple me, keeping me from experiencing some of the joys of this life. My fear of COVID-19 could keep me confined to my house, never venturing out, even for a walk. Fear can keep me off of an airplane. It could cause me to miss out on the glory of creation I find while exploring the mountains. And fear can keep me from trusting another person and enjoying a deeper level of friendship.
Fear of Losing Control
I think my biggest fear is in losing control. I realize that much of the control I think I have over my life is just an illusion. There is much that impacts me that I have absolutely no control over. But what limited control I have, I cling to. And that is challenging for me as a disciple of Christ. Because he calls on me to give control of my life into his keeping. And I find that to be incredibly hard.
But David, in this psalm, gives me the key to overcoming this fear. In the midst of a dangerous and trying time, David sought the Lord. And the Lord answered, delivering him from his fears. I cannot, on my own, overcome my fear. But the Lord can. He can fill me with his love, a love that drives out my fear (1 John 4:18), replacing it with his peace (Phil. 4:7) that will guard my heart and mind.