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Fear Factor

July 20, 2009



I'm not generally scared of much, but last week one of those green critters that you find on leafy vegetables was crawling up my neck, and I just about did a back-flip in my car. Okay, so I hate crawly critters! Doesn't everyone?

I did a quick google search on the top things people fear and here are few:

flying in an airplane
public speaking

A recent study of teens found that their top five fears are:

2. Being raped
3. Not being able to breathe
4. Being threatened with a gun
5. Myself dying

In both of the lists mentioned above, there is one fear common to most people--the fear of dying. LIke, who wants to die, right? And certainly no one wants to die in some grotesque way. That's why the just released video of Army Private Bowe Bergdahl really got my attention . Check it out here.

What would you say to this captured soldier if you could talk to him right now? How would you try to calm his fears? What do you say to someone who is facing death? Taliban fighters have threatened to kill him unless the U.S. call off it's operations in that part of Afghanistan, and they can be pretty brutal.

Jesus knew a thing or two about fear--especially the fear of death. He sensed it in the disciples as they prepared to go out to share the gospel, so he told them: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28. Easy for Him to say, right? He's God's son.

Jesus wasn't throwing out a flip remark when He told the disciples not to fear death. He knew that one day He would raise back to life all who die in Him--no matter how that death happens. But that still leaves the little matter of--PAIN!! Can't I die for Jesus in my sleep?

Truth is, none of us can really say how we would deal with an imminent threat of dying. I don't know how I'd respond. I want to trust that God wouldn't give me more than I can bear, and I want to believe what He said to His disciples when they faced an uncertain future without Him. He said to them: "I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

If I could talk to Bowe Bergdahl right now, I'd tell him that God is right there feeling every fear, marking his every anxious moment. I'd say, "Bowe, God loves you more than you could ever know. He's there. Don't stop believing in Him."

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