“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline”
2 Timothy 1:7
October. It’s the month of all things dark and scary. It is the time of year when it is ok to send our small children, ok, and ourselves out in the dark toting guns and knives covered in blood, all in the name of fun. Really, it is a very strange season. One I don’t always understand and that I certainly don’t love. You see I am a fearful person. I prefer to call myself a worry-wart. It sounds less crazy. I create enough to worry about, without celebrating the things that go bump-in-the-night.
My biggest fears always revolve around the “what if’s”. You know, pick a problem and add the phrase “what if it happens to me, my house, my family, my parents, my children.” My solution to my fear has always been found in myself. To calm my fears, I have become a planner. You see, if I have a plan in place, I worry less. I somehow manage to convince myself I have the situation in control. Or at least I would, if said scenario where to take place.
Now, sometimes in my life this tendency has been to my advantage. My purse, while weighing approximately 20 pounds, does keep me well prepared. Anyone need a spoon? And the mornings go smoother because I’ve laid out the needs of the day, the whole day, the night before. Other times this is not so true. Worry doesn’t do much for my stomach, or my complexion, or my sleep, or my……
Currently, I have found a new thing to worry about and it is coming at me from my very own radio. You see, I am a big talk radio fan. On it goes, in the morning and off it goes at bed time. I even have the live streaming aps for my favorite shows on my phone. I wouldn’t want to be without my programs. The problem: the news scares me. I can’t listen any more. Today I had to reach up and make myself turn it off. I have listened to too much bad news: war, illness, bombings, shootings. It goes on and on. I am no longer informing myself. I have just moved into crazyland. Every new story makes me more and more afraid. I knew today was the last day of scaring myself when I started planning how I would survive the coming Ebola outbreak. While preparedness is good, living in a state of fear is not. I had crossed a line.
The Bible has 365 verses in it that talk about fear. One for every day. Instead of turning to my radio and the “wisdom” of the news pundits, I need to turn to the wisdom of the Creator God. He is the one who holds all the things I have fear about in His hands.
God did not give me a spirit of fear, I have nurtured that all on my own. From Him I have received power, love and self-discipline. I need to use that self-discipline to set aside my fear of what-may-come and replace it with faith-in-the-One-Who-is-Already-Here. I know, I won’t transform overnight. I have been nurturing my fearfulness for a long time, but I have a year’s worth of verses to get me on track.
So there you have it…I’m a ‘fraidy cat. Even though October is a month of screams, I am going to save mine for my calling dibs on the best of my children’s Halloween candy.
Janelle Steinberg, Mrs. North Dakota International 2014