Have No Fear
by Caryl Engler
I distinctly remember the first time I felt fear. When I was four years old and living with my family on a farm in central Illinois, my mother took me with her to go shopping in a department store in Bloomington, Illinois. While she looked at dresses, I became bored watching her. I closed my eyes and dozed on my feet. Suddenly, I found myself fully awake and my mother was no longer by my side. I could not see her. I was terrified. Alone in this huge store, I realized I was a long way from home. I thought my mother had abandoned me. Tears rolled down my face and I cried loudly. My mother heard me and came to me with a smile on her face. She had simply walked to the far side of the clothes rack, and the clothes had obstructed my view so I could not see her. She knew exactly where I was all the time. I have never forgotten the scary feeling of abandonment and the absence of my mother’s protection. My mother took me to church on Sundays, but I had not yet learned to ask Jesus for help when I felt threatened.
I am a good many years older now. In the intervening years I have learned to rely on Jesus when I feel fearful. A year ago I had hip replacement surgery and was in the hospital for four days. When the nurse took my blood pressure and I heard her say, “51 over 39,” I thought I was on my way out. In my mind’s eye I could see a tunnel underground with a heavy metal door through which I was going to pass. I had no feeling of fear. I thought, “Jesus, I am coming.” I have no memory of what happened next, but my daughter-in-law said I had a blood transfusion. When I woke up, my blood pressure was back to normal. I know that Jesus was watching over me throughout my surgery and recovery.
If you are struggling with fear, you do not have to struggle alone. Remember:
1) The Lord is always with His children, protecting us, but you must invite Him into your life to have the Helper by your side – the assurance of His Spirit. (He dwells with us. He doesn’t leave us as orphans. John 14:15-18)
2) When we have a relationship with our Father, we can rest in His unlimited power and protection. (Do not be afraid of those who kill your body, but be afraid of the one who can not only kill you, but has the power to cast you into Hell. He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to Him. Luke 12:4-5 and Hebrews 7:25)
3) No matter what you are going through, our Father is keeping track of it all. You are special to Him. (The Lord knows every sparrow that is sold for a small sum of money, and He counts the number of hairs on your head. You are of far more value to our Lord than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7)
4) When you are overwhelmed with fear and worry, take your fears to the Lord and ask for His help. He is always available and ready to help you. (Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7)
Lord Jesus, your love and care are never ending. You are all powerful. Protect me and keep me safe, watch over every step of my life. I pray for a quiet mind and a peaceful heart. Replace my fears with your love so that I can live each day glorifying you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Caryl Engler (retired) grew up in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was baptized in the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A., and was a member of The Falls Church (Episcopal) for 50 years. She made her home with our (Anglican) congregation during our sojourning years, and she continues to be part of our church family.