I used to think that I needed more strength, more courage to fight the battle with Fear. I thought that if I were bolder in my actions and bigger in my faith, I might finally squelch his looming whispers. I thought of Daniel in a den with lions and David in a ring with a giant, the models of men who did not walk with Fear. And I knew that I was certainly not big or bold. I knew that I would surely run from a den of lions and flee from a giant in a ring. So I managed Fear the best way that I knew how – by ignoring his presence and waiting until he was ready to pass me by.
But I am beginning to believe that fighting Fear looks a lot less like battle and a lot more like surrender. And that bravery is not always accomplished in triumphant moments of glory, but in quiet moments of trust. I wonder if Daniel and David also heard the taunting voice of Fear, if they too knew what it was to feel his arm draped across their shoulders, pressing down, attempting to paralyze. Perhaps they did, in fact, walk with Fear. And maybe this is exactly what made them brave. They kept walking, knowing and trusting that their battles were never theirs to fight. For it was neither the moment that Daniel walked out of the den nor the moment that the giant fell to David’s rock that defined these men as brave. No, it was in the quiet moments before, when their hearts screamed “Fear” but their lips whispered, “Father.”
So today, as I walk with Fear’s empty threats ringing in my ears, might I have the courage to hear, instead, the full promises of God. When my heart shakes and my spirit screams “Fear,” might I whisper “Father,” not just once in the morning or right before bed, but a hundred times a day: “Father, Father, Father.” When Fear comes along side of me and rattles my settled soul, I pray for strength, not to fight but to surrender, again and again. And when my heart begins to close to protect itself from looming Fear, may my hands begin to open, to receive the goodness of His holy will. Bravery, for me, may not look like taming lions or fighting giants. Bravery, for me, may look more like walking and living, moment by moment, with Fear’s taunting voice in my ear, but the Father’s mighty name on my lips. And as I walk, may the whispers of Fear be not my battle cry. Instead, may the promises of a good Father be my freedom song.