Whom shall we fear?

2 Samuel 17:10, “Then even the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your Father is a fighter and that those with him are brave.”

When I was in third grade, I went to school with a guy who made Goliath look small. He was a sixth grader, and he was huge. We used to joke that the lunch room floor shook when he came in the cafeteria. My friends and I barely spoke to him for fear he might eat one of us. If he even looked our way, I diverted my eyes and whispered a prayer, “Make me invisible, God. Make me invisible.” The strange part was I never saw him fight anyone. I never saw him angry or challenged. No. My fear was based on my perception.

That summer my mom dropped me off at the public swimming pool to spend a couple of hours splashing around with my friends. No sooner had I rounded the corner than I saw him, sitting on the edge of a lounge chair. His feet looked bigger than my dad’s and as I stared at him, I imagined the chair collapsing from his weight.

The lifeguard stood over him, engaged in a conversation of sorts. I wondered if the kid had jumped on someone and bashed his or her head in the side of the pool. Or maybe he brought a weapon to the pool and threatened to cut someone up. Maybe he drowned a few little kids before he ate his lunch! I swallowed hard.

To my surprise, the lifeguard buckled a white styrofoam bubble to the guys back, took his hand, and appeared to gently coax him toward the pool. “Huh?” I thought.

The oversized kid reached for the chair with the grip of death. “He’s afraid of the water!” My 8-year-old mind could not comprehend it. There were tears flowing down his cheeks. His mom stood up, attempting to pry his fingers from the chair as my mouth fell open.

The larger-than-life Goliath no longer looked so big.

What makes you afraid? Do you realize that you are not alone in any battle you face, and the very thing that makes you afraid is only a perception from your mind? Fear is a choice. It is a response to what is around us. Why not surround yourself with God? He is always by your side and with Him, whom shall we fear?

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