What do you do when fear is the loudest voice you hear? Have you ever thought about how loud fear is, how paralyzing its shrieks can be?
Well, I am well acquainted with fear and it’s close friend, anxiety. As I look back over most of my life these two have been my constant companions. When control was out of my reach, fear was close at hand. When answers were unclear and I wasn’t quite sure which way to turn, anxiety had a perfectly rational explanation.
Every. Single. Time.
It’s always made sense to run with the fear that was in my heart and mind because it was so over-powering. It was the oppressor in my daily life that I just could not seem to shake. It followed me around and demanded I hand over my peace and rest like a schoolyard bully demands your lunch money.
Over the years I’ve seen a truth about fear.
Fear yells. I mean, it just screams. And it feels as if you can’t possibly hear anything else when its siren is blaring in your mind.
Fear comes at you with a fierceness that is piercing, confusing and almost always loud. Fear demands our attention, I believe, more than any other emotion. Truth, on the other hand, doesn’t shout, not at first anyway. It takes time to really hear it and let it sink in.
So, what do you do when fear is the loudest voice you hear?
It’s hard to know where to trun when fear causes us to believe that we’ll never get out of the bottomless pit we’ve sunk into. In this place the truth can sound barely audible because after all, even the loudest shout sounds like a whisper when you’re at the bottom of a pit.
The shouts and incessant clanging of the lies that surround you can be all-consuming and life sucking. So, friend, my advice when you’re in that place is to listen, just listen to that little whisper of truth that’s trying to break through.
Once you listen, once you open your ears to that truth, don’t let go of it. Grab onto that truth with both hands and don’t let go until that truth whisper becomes a shout.
It’s scary when fear is the loudest voice you hear, isn’t it?
When I’m in that place, I tilt my head a little to the right, just past fear’s hideous face and I see Jesus… walking on the water.
In Matthew 14, after a day of ministering and feeding over five thousand people, Jesus put his disciples on a boat and sent them off to the other side while He went up on the mountain to pray. In the early morning hours after the disciples had been out on the water for hours, Jesus came walking on the water to them.
The text reads that when the disciples saw Jesus walking towards them on the sea they thought it was a ghost or a spirit. I just love Jesus’ answer, depending on what version you read, his basic words were this;
“Take courage! It is I; do not be afraid.”
In some translations, there is no exclamation point after taking courage, but I like to think that Jesus spoke with the emphasis that the exclamation point adds. Take courage! I just love this.
I imagine Jesus effortlessly walking upon the waves and coming towards the boat as the disciples are terrified at this phantom gliding towards them. And what does Jesus say? He says take courage.
It’s the words I bring to the forefront of my mind when fear is screaming at me. It gives me the perspective I need at that moment to look past fears ugly face and stare at the truth. The truth that He is with me, I’m not alone in this and I am His.
And you know what? I like to think that’s why Jesus said take courage before he said do not be afraid.
Because it takes courage to not be afraid.
It’s not exactly easy to not take the fear route. It’s hard. Especially if you’re anything like me and it’s hard-wired in you to just be afraid. It takes patience, perseverance and practice. Jesus knew that. That’s why he said it.
Fear and anxiety don’t exactly like to retreat easily but I’ll tell you this, in the presence of Jesus even the ugliest fear screams can’t stand. That’s the truth, it’s rock solid ground to stand on when fear makes you shake in your boots.
So, take courage, my friends. Do not be afraid, listen to this whisper of truth if you are currently in a pit; you are His, He is with you and you are held.
Look past the ugly screeching, remind yourself of truth and before you know it the truth of Jesus will be shouting louder than the fear.
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,