One of the facts that life hands us is that there are many turns and bends that often create a host of complicated issues. Our unsuspecting trip home turns tragically down a blind road and before you know it, we’ve been over taken by a sequence of emotions ranging from bewilderment to sheer fear. In fact, that grip of fear can leave us feeling overwhelmed, powerless and defeated.
Fear is a common emotion when we are grieving. We fear the unknown, the new, the unusual, the hidden, the visible, the past, the present, the future…and that list goes on and on. If left unattended, we eventually become afraid of fear and will do anything we can to run from it. Yet if you look back, fear is usually chasing you like that yappin’ dog, nipping at your heals, showing its teeth and ready to bite you if you stop running. So what do you do?
When confronted with fear, you have to FACE it. Get down and look at it eye to eye and shed some light on the fear. Ephesians 5:13-14 says, “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible…” That light is Christ.
One of the reasons fear is so successful in keeping us powerless and defeated is because it’s often wrapped up in the dark recesses of our lives, hidden from light. In that darkness it has the power being unknown, unspoken of and in that darkness can grow to unimaginable size, completely out of control. What it needs to die is light.
Children have a tendency to be scared of the dark. In their fear they call for mom and dad to help them through. So what do parents usually do? They turn the light on. They talk about with their child what it is he or she saw in the dark. Maybe some parents will turn the light off to show their child what it is that has created such distress…then turn the light on and show them the truth. Soon the child will get that what was there in the dark wasn’t what they thought, because the light exposed the reality and disposed of the mystery. In short, they FACED it.
The first step in conquering your fear is to FACE it. Bring it out on the table, shed some light on it. Talk about it. Don’t let it sit there in the dark and grow larger than life. Expose it to light therapy. As you do and as you process that fear, God puts His light on the subject. His perfect light may just help you find some solutions.
In 1 John 4:18 it says, “perfect love drives away all fear.” Earlier in verse 16 it says, “God is love.” And even earlier in 1 John it says, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That means God, who is perfect love and light, drives all darkness and fear away. Fear cannot survive in God’s perfect love and all dark dispelling light. Conquering fear first requires facing it. Stop acting as if it’s not there, stop ignoring it and start talking about it. It requires light therapy…exposing it and facing it before God and others.
As you tell God about your fears, tell some trusted friends and family members about it too. As you face it, it shrinks. It doesn’t necessarily go away, it just becomes smaller, easier to handle because more than just your hands are on it. Bring that fear out of the cellar of your heart and mind and onto the table of the main floor. Make it the topic of discussion often. The more light you shed on it, the more manageable you might find it becomes.