Okay, I admit it. I have a fear of deer.
Yes, deer. Those quiet packs of field-roamers who eat on your summer vegetables in the early morning hours.
The moment I spot one my shoulders tense up to my ears, my eyes open an extra inch and my heart races so fast I have to clench my hands over my chest to keep it inside. Its an intense reaction.
My fear of deer developed back in 2003. While driving my now-husbands car home from spring break at his family’s house I collided with not just one lovely creature, but 2. The first one I hit head on. He went sliding up and over us, flying over the car and landing several yards behind. The second hit the front quarter panel and came to rest just outside the driver’s door.
For 14 years every time I spot a deer my grip tightens. It’s a sudden, uncontrollable reaction based on the emotions of fear. Fear like this is a response of the brain. It is a natural and healthy response programmed to keep us safe.
Fear stimulates your fight-or-flight response. If danger is near, it is fear that empowers you to run or punch. In the right context the emotional response of fear can save your life. For example, if you find yourself in a fire your fear can stimulate your body to be alert and have the energy necessary to find a way out. This is healthy fear.
Fear can also present itself in unhealthy ways. We can think our way into a flight-or-fight reaction. It is when we allow this perceived fear to paralyze us that fear becomes a problem. We worry and stress over how something will turn out. We exhaust our minds and our bodies. We let the fear of worry keep us from living.
That is not God’s plan for you.
God did not plant in us the emotional response of fear to wear us out. Fear is not intended for everyday use. 2 Timothy 1:7 uses the word fear or timidity to describe this type of perceived fear. This false grasp on what danger potentially lies ahead is not God’s intent. It is sometimes equated to faithlessness. The faithless fear that often stops us from reaching for our God given desires needs to be replaced by power and love. The power and love of God is all that we need to look beyond the things that could go wrong so we can walk in faith toward the things God has intended for us.
God gave us the emotion of fear to protect us from harm, not to keep us stagnant. He wants us to move past the perception of fear where faith reminds us who is in control.
Take a minute to write down 3 of your biggest fears. Are your top 3 fears protective or perceived?
Ask God to help you this week to lay aside the perceived fears, replacing them with love and power to put you on the path to reaching your goals.