Supposedly there are enough “Do not be afraid” or “Fear not” scriptures in the Bible to have one for each day of the year. In our Fall Bible Study, The Quest, Beth Moore reminded us that, “Biblically speaking, fear and faith fight for the same space. Each is territorial. Each desires to occupy expansive square footage in the house of your soul. Any square foot or inch where Fear abides in your life is the precise ground Faith exists to occupy. Fear and Faith cannot be roommates. They will not coexist. The one assigned authority automatically elbows the other off the space. Fear can’t stand on a carpet of Faith.”
I saw this truth displayed last week when Larry and I joined Scott and his kids for dinner, while Abby was at a meeting. It was Princess and Pirate night at Chick-fil-A so it was a fun and lively evening. Mary and Daniel both waved, spoke to and enjoyed seeing the pirate as we entered. Since the pirate was wearing a costume, an eye patch, but not a mask, he was safe to acknowledge. The cow was a different story. On previous visits, when the cow has been present, Mary would wave to the cow from a distance, but did not want to shake hands, get close to, or speak to the cow. Even though Daniel would high five and shake hands with the cow when he was younger, he now follows Mary’s lead. For this special evening the cow was wearing a princess dress. Surprisingly, when Mary saw the Princess Cow she immediately spoke to her and gave her the first of many hugs for the evening. Daniel still wanted to have nothing to do with the cow. He had Scott pick him up until we arrived at the table. In order to be furthest from the cow as she walked by, Scott sat Daniel closest to the wall. During the meal, Daniel continually wanted to know the location of the cow. As we finished our meal, the cow walked by and Mary asked if she could hug the cow again. Daniel watched, but still wanted nothing to do with the cow, princess dress or not. When it was time to leave, Daniel bravely held Scott’s hand as we were walking past the cow one last time. He watched Mary give one more hug. I watched with interest as Daniel slowly let go of Scott’s hand, stopped and looked, and then took a few steps to stand in front of the cow. Knowing his daddy was close by, he gently leaned in to hug the cow’s leg. Realizing what he had done, Daniel had a huge smile on his face. Larry took pictures of the encounter. Daniel has already asked to see and show the pictures of when he was brave and hugged the cow.
Every day I have the opportunity to choose faith over fear. It helps knowing that my heavenly Father is always close by in every situation. And when my focus is on Jesus, I can be brave and allow my faith to overcome my fear.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
For you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
Isaiah 41:10, 13
He (Jesus) replied, “you of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
He (Jesus) said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7