Last week I told you about one of my defense mechanisms, or let’s be honest, one of my survival techniques, that of playing dead.
I mentioned that something I learned from the opossum is that playing dead is an involuntary reaction to fear.
Last week, the word that stood out to me in the above phrase was involuntary. This week, the word is fear. I am realizing anew that I flop, faint, and freeze not because of my circumstances, but because of fear itself.This is an important distinction.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
I’d prefer the psalmist to have said God delivered him from all the things he feared. But that’s not the case. He said God delivered him from fear itself. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The truth of the matter is: If the thing I fear facing is still there waiting for me, I’d rather continue to play dead. Thanks anyway, Jesus! Tell me when it’s safe to get up. But I’m afraid the response to that would have to be never. It will never be safe to get up. I will have to stay flopped over frozen, forever amen.
I don’t know about you friend, but I’m often asking God to deliver me from the people, places, and things I am fearful of – so I’m saved from them. If God would clear the deck of them, it would feel safe to get back up again, yes? I would be perfectly pleased with that arrangement! However, it seems that God, in all of his God-ness, must think that too small a thing.
Instead, God goes straight to the heart of the matter with an offer to deliver us, not from that which we fear, but from fear itself.
What we’re delivered from is fear.
At first glance, if I’m honest about it, I don’t like that near as much. And yet it is the very thing that leads to lasting freedom, is it not?
If I’m no longer afraid of the person, place, or thing, I am free. I have no more need to flop, faint, or freeze.
It seems God may have been speaking through Winston Churchill when he famously said, there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
Freed from Fear: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What or who are you afraid of?
- Get honest and name your fears to God.
- When faced with a fear this week, instead of fighting, fleeing or flopping over to play dead, take a deep breath and pray along with the Psalmist who said: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).
- I love that it doesn’t say when I am afraid I’ll flop in fear or when I am afraid I will play dead. But rather, when I am afraid I will trust …
- Our song of the week is: I Want to be Free by Ellie Holcomb.
- Deliver me from all my fears.