The Danger of Fear
by David Trexler
About a month ago my wife and I decided to go birdwatching at the National Wildlife Refuge after church. The refuge was very large. We could travel around in the car. We stopped at different places and walked in the trails hoping to see birds. Almost at the end of the day (it was getting dark) we noticed an old car that appeared to follow us. We wondered why.
At the last place we parked our car to walk to a pond. We looked back and saw the same car stop. We started to be concerned about the car. We decided to walk on the trail anyway. We enjoyed the scenery as we arrived at the pond. We walked across the bridge to the other side of the pond and stopped to look for birds.
From where we stood we could see the same old car passing on the road. And then we saw two persons coming up the trail behind us. They stopped for a while. We thought that those persons were from that old car. My wife and I became suspicious, and I was scared. On the news, we had heard about killings and rapes in the woods. My heart was pounding hard. I told my wife that we should walk fast to stay away from the men. I was really worried and scared.
I lost interest in looking for birds. We walked around the pond and finally arrived at the place where we could walk back to our car. I looked at the pond to see if the men were there looking for us. I saw them, but when I looked closer I felt ashamed. They were not two men but a young couple enjoying nature. My fear disappeared. I felt foolish. When we arrived at the parking lot, there was a brand-new pickup truck that belonged to the couple. Remember, I thought they were from the old car. I was actually too suspicious! How foolish I was that day!
President Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." He was telling the truth when Americans suffered from the Great Depression of 1929. Fear can confuse your thinking and reason. Fear can destroy your faith in God. Finally, fear can cause you to do foolish things.
When I was scared, I was not checking on "two men" carefully to see if they were not dangerous. I was thinking and praying too fast. I ran for life for nothing! And worst of all, I missed the beauty of nature the rest of the way back to the car.
Of course, we still have to be careful in this dangerous world. We should not try to enter the high-crime areas and hope nothing will happen to us. God gives us wisdom to deal with life. But fear itself is very dangerous. Fear can take away hope and trust in God. David ran away from King Saul. David had fear that caused him to make mistakes. Here is King David's advice for us: "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You [God]. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh [man] do to me?" (Psalm 56:3, 4, NKJV).
Let us trust God, no matter what may happen to us.