Learning To Be Fearless

Whitewater rafting on the Chattooga River

I watch the movies. I see the TV shows. The bad guys are caught. The monsters are slayed. No one has to live in fear because the story line is usually wrapped up within the hour. If only life were that easy. If only the things that we fear, could be locked away…

Life isn’t that simple, is it?

Some fears aren’t founded in reality.

Spiders aren’t really out to get me. They will not suck my blood when I fall asleep.

Mice are a dirty nuisance, but they will not kill me.

Nothing is going to jump out at me in the dark, if I’m standing in my front yard after the sun sets.


But, some fears are real.

A friend who is losing her young husband to early onset Alzheimers, and living each day with the insidious way the disease robs him of his life. Fearing what the future will hold.

The phone call saying that you’ve been terminated…your position isn’t necessary anymore…and you have bills to pay. Fearing you will lose it all.

The decisions that need to be made. Moving to a new house? A new area? New friends? Fearing making the wrong choice.

The car crash. Mangled metal and a phone call from the police.Your heart pounding, fearing the worst.

The abuse from one who claimed to love you.The words ring hollow when the hand comes down. Fearing that it will never get any better…..

The one who talked behind your back with words that sliced through your soul like a knife. Fearing that you are unlovable.

The young man who fears what his future will hold when he watches the nightly news.

Fear is that feeling in the pit of one’s stomach. The knot that won’t go away. The frenzied feeling of being trapped. The questioning. The anger. The hopelessness.

As a mother, my biggest fear is that something would happen to my children. Something that I couldn’t fix, or heal, or mend. Helpless.

Sometimes fearful thoughts run over me like the icy coldness of a river in early Spring. The water is so cold it stings…and then I go numb.

And I know that this world, this life, is filled to the brim with the icy flow of fear.

The white knuckled grip of fear and the involuntary squeezing shut of the eyes….if it’s not seen…maybe it doesn’t exist.

And the breaths are long and ragged and we shove our head above the turbulent waves, yelling for someone to help. To help us not be scared.


Jesus told us there would be trouble. He never said life would be easy. In this broken world we are forced to deal with the unpleasant and the unrelenting.

I wonder how Jesus felt when he stood in the garden of Gethsemane….praying….waiting….knowing. Knowing that the soldiers would be there soon, to take him away. In the moments before His arrest, He could have run away. I’m sure the human part of Him had some fear for what lay ahead. His friends were half asleep, even at this important time, when He needed them. He knew He’d go alone.

The sham of a trial with the verdict of execution. “Crucify him! Crucify him!” ringing in His ears.

The ripping of His flesh, from a whip that showed no mercy. I believe fear found its way into His heart as He took the pain.

Nailed to wood. Bones crunching. Tendons tearing. Shallow breathing.

All the sin of the world on Him. Covered in our fear, our hate, our selfishness. Vile, dark, and ominous.

He suffered. Make no mistake about it. It wasn’t clean, it wasn’t pretty. It was horrible.

And yet, Jesus died. Him, perfect. Blameless. That cross built a bridge to The Father. For you. For me. Forever.

Three days later, Jesus came back. Fear could not hold him.  Death could not conquer Him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Fear is real….no doubt about it.

Anyone who has lived for any amount of time, knows the feeling.

And yet, those of us who know the Lord can fight fear.

We can be fearless before the things of this world, because we know the One who has gone ahead of us, who has overcome. He fought the battle and He won.

The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?  Psalm 118:6 NIV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV