Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fear, Good Fear, Bad Fear Is There Really a “Good” Fear Amplified

Sorry, the bear didn't think it was a Kodak moment, I didn't either!
A fellow writer recently posted a piece about an armed robber going into a store with a gun drawn and encountering the owner of the store and a customer. The owner boldly told him, "In the name of Jesus, I command you to get out of my store," He demanded they lay down on the floor. They did not but kept telling him to leave. He got agitated and left. Fear led to boldness – and using her authority in the name above all names, Jesus Christ.

Bear suddenly appearing – healthy fear flight/ fight adrenalin reaction within our bodies
Mick and I were hiking in the middle of nowhere. Actually it was oil company property which had just been opened as State Trust Land during a few months of the year. We were in right after it opened up. This means that with the exception of a few oil pipeline crew members no people had been there for years. Pristine, wilderness, remote are just a few of the descriptive words which come to mind in painting a picture of Bosque del Oso, which means Forest of the bear – that should have been our first clue. We were totally enjoying the wilderness smelling of intense pine aroma with a gentle breeze blowing. The weather being perfect for a long hike – we were trying to find a small lake we’d seen on the topographical  map.

Suddenly I spotted a bear. I screamed “bear” – not too bright since my nickname for Mick is Mr. Bear or Cinnamon Bear from the days when he was a red head. He kind of glanced at me and noticed I was walking really fast, backward up the hill we had just come down. Then he spotted her. She had a “cub” whose rear end was just about as big as hers and she was slapping that rear end up a tree in front of us.

“Get back here and draw your pistol for Pete’s sake… quit running, she’ll chase you.”

“I am NOT running…..I’m walking fast.”

We both drew our guns and started walking backwards up the hill. She looked at the tree. Popped her jaws and began charging us, then seemed to remember “baby” and ran back to the tree. Soon she went into the woods behind the tree. We could guess she was circling around to come at us from behind. Pretty soon she was back at the tree.

Terror doesn’t begin to describe what kind of fear I had. We get the outdoors magazines. We have seen the photos of what brown bears can do to a human body.  We were looking at TWO brown bears, one for each of us. This was not the lion’s den. We were not here because we refused to bow down to the king’s edict. We never shot the guns - good thing as she would have probably felt threatened on the baby’s behalf and taken care of us.  We got out of the area leaving mama and “baby Huey” behind.

Was our fear good? Yep, kept us from wanting to get closer and take her picture, SMART fear. I don’t think I was prepared to become bear lunch.  However, I am not sure what would have happened if we’d taken authority in Jesus name and told her to leave. That didn’t occur to either of us at the time.

Daniel was in the lion’s den. I imagine he had a healthy fear of the lions. He didn’t fear the king or what he could do to Daniel, but rather, trusted in his King (God). He would worship no one else and his prayers to God got him thrown in the Lion’s den. Did God give those lions a full tummy so they weren’t interested? Did He send angles to hold their mouths shut? Did he give them a sudden craving for “salad bar” and an aversion to “meat”? We don’t know all those details - BUT Daniel was saved alive.

Fear of the Lord is another kind of “smart” fear. 
In Psalm 111:10 we are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that those who do His commandments have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
Strong’s Concordance tells us this fear means fear or reverence – dreadful, exceeding fearfulness or exceeding fear. God is awesome and we should revere Him. He is not the man in the sky with the baseball bat just waiting to smash us if we “mess up”. He is not that mama bear. Although don’t mess with one of His kids or he might be protective like that mama bear.

Fear which indicates I don’t think God is in control – “bad” fear
When I am fearful about life and circumstances where I should be trusting God, that fear shows a lack of trust. He has given us many, many promises in His Word. We need to believe those promises and act like we believe in them.

For instance, when the Bible says in Malachi 3:10 to bring all the tithes into the storehouse and goes on to ask us to try God and see if he will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing for us that there will not be room to receive it.that doesn’t mean if times get rough and work is slow that we should stop tithing. That is a great time to personalize that scripture and put God to the test as it suggests. Keep doing what you know you ought in tithing and see what the Lord does in provision. We have walked this one out year after year and have never missed a meal or missed paying a bill. God is in control.

Another example of His promises would be stated in Psalm 23:4 when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we are to fear no evil for God is with us.
This scripture doesn’t say we will not have tough or troubling times but that the Lord will go through them with us. If we panic and get consumed by fears and “what ifs” does that show we are trusting God at His Word? I don’t think so. We can lean on this scripture during those times, especially the “I will fear no evil” part.

The scripture in Matthew 28:19-20 comes to mind telling believers to go and make disciples of all nations. It has more instructions and ends with His promise to be with us always even to the end of the age.

Does that mean that God will be with or us abandon us during rough times? Knowing some of His promises and even repeating that out loud helps us get them internalized. God doesn’t forget but I wonder how often we do and need this reminder.
One of my favorite quotes from my husband is “God is ABLE and we, well, we are but dust….”
That doesn’t give us an excuse but a head’s up so we can be ready when the tough times come. Let’s get into the Word and get ready!

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Yvonne Blake said...

Great thoughts! Good fear is sometimes hard to explain, and it's sometimes hard to trust instead of fearing the future. Thanks for this.

(YIKES! on the bear incident - good story material)

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

Appreciate your coming by - yep, do not want to repeat the bear thing ever!