I was twelve years old and it was the opening day of deer season. It was still dark. The sun would not even think about rising for another thirty minutes. Daddy shined his flashlight on the boards nailed into the tree as I climbed up to the deer-stand. He watched as I got settled in then handed my new Winchester 30-30 up to me. Before he walked to his stand he asked me, are you scared ? I said, no I’m alright. But I lied.
You see it was dark and my daddy was about to leave me setting on a board in a tree in the dark. I was scared. But I wasn’t going to tell Daddy. Because even though I was scared, I knew that I was going to be alright. I trusted my daddy and I knew that he would not be far away and he would not leave me in danger. So even when I was just twelve, I knew you could be scared and still be alright.
I have not counted them all for myself, but I have read that throughout the Bible we are told “do not be afraid, or fear not” 365 times. That is one fear not for everyday of the year. I do know that throughout the Bible almost every time angels appear, the first thing they say is “do not be afraid”. Having thought about this a lot, I have come to believe that God is not telling us that fear is sinful nor is it a bad thing. Fear is an emotion that teaches us to be careful and seek safety. We learn in Psalm 34:4 that if we seek the Lord He will answer us and deliver us from all our fears. For this reason, if you are in Christ you know that you are going to be alright.
Even now I am often scared. But when I am afraid I trust in God. Because just like my daddy would never leave me in danger, God will never leave His children in danger and He will never be far away. When He says fear not, He is saying “ I know you are scared, but trust Me and I promise you, you are going to be alright.
From Down Where the Pavement Ends