While you were likely sound asleep at the eerie hour of 1:00 a.m., I was wide awake…talking to God like mad!
I was aboard a twin-engine Aero Commander with a seasoned pilot, and we were rapidly descending through a foggy, dense overcast at 200 miles per hour. He was having the time of his life…but, frankly, I was scared to death! At one point he looked over at me, smiled, and said, “Hey, Chuck, isn’t this great?” I didn’t answer.
As our lonely plane cut through the overcast pre-dawn sky, I was reviewing every verse I knew and confessing every wrong I’d ever done. It was like speeding a couple hundred miles an hour down a rush hour freeway with a white bed sheet wrapped across the windshield and your radio turned up just beneath the threshold of audible pain!
I couldn’t believe how happy and excited my companion-in-flight really was. His passenger, however, had 10 fingernails imbedded in the seat cushion. I stared longingly for something—anything—through the blanket of white surrounding us. Our flight record may have indicated two passengers on that eerie Monday morning, but I can vouch for at least three. An unyielding creature called Fear and I shared the same seat.
What a monster is fear! Its claws are sharp, dripping with the blood of the unknown and unseen. Its voice is piercing, shouting ugly and destructive words of worry. Most of its statements begin with a quiet, “What if…?” and end with a loud “…and you’ll be sorry.” One blast of its awful breath transforms saints into cynics as it reverses our entire mindset. Its bite carries a paralyzing venom into its victim, and it isn’t long before doubt dulls our vision. As we fall, it steps on our face with the weight of a Sherman tank…and laughs at our crippled condition as it prepares for another assault.
Fear. Ever met this beast? Sure you have. It comes in all shapes and every size. Fear of failure. Fear of heights. Fear of crowds. Fear of disease and death. Fear of rejection. Fear of unemployment. Fear of what others are saying about you. Fear of moving away. Fear of height or depth or distance. Fear of trusting others. Fear of being yourself. Fear of buying. Fear of selling. Fear of financial reversal. Fear of war. Fear of business success. Around every imaginable corner it lurks in the shadows, planning to poison your inner peace and outward poise. Being a bully, it relies on scare tactics and surprise attacks. It watches for your vulnerable moments then picks the lock that safeguards your security. As it invades, it reduces your spiritual muscles to a mass of mental mush. In a nutshell…it’s a fear of the unknown future. The prognosis, once you are infected, is neither bright nor cheery.
David’s 27th psalm scratches the fearful where they itch. With broad, bold strokes of his pen, the monarch of Israel puts iron in our bones. He meets Fear at the door of his home with two questions:
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I dread? (Psalm 27:1 NASB)
David slams that door in Fear’s face with the declaration:
My heart will not fear;…
In spite of this I shall be confident. (27:3)
David then whistles and hums to himself as he walks back into the family room, kitchen, or bed chamber, reminding himself of the secrets of daily trust:
I have asked from the LORD (27:4)
I behold the beauty of the LORD (27:4)
I meditate in His temple (27:4)
In the day of trouble He will conceal me / hide me / lift me (27:5)
I will offer sacrifices and I will sing (27:6)
I would have despaired unless I had believed…wait for the LORD (27:13–14)
Let your heart take courage (27:14)
Oh, how I needed these secrets that day in the cockpit! Truth be told, I have needed them many days since then. Maybe you have too. Maybe you need them right now.
Fearful of your future? Tell you what—let you and I share the same seat and relax for a change. Of course, you might want to fasten your seat belt (it could be a little rough before we land).
Why fear the future? God is already there…and He has never missed the runway through the centuries of fearful fog.