“There is no illusion greater than fear.”― Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching
When faced with fear, what is your reaction? Do you wallow in it, and let it override all your senses? Do you sit back, and allow fear to stop you from doing what you need to do, to get to where you want to be. Or are you waiting for someone to rescue you.
Too often we respond to fear in ways that create chaos in our lives and those around us. I think of the Children of Israel how they sat in fear for weeks, afraid to send for their men against Goliath. There was a stalemate, with no progress being made at the war front.
Until a brave young lad walked into the picture.
However, I am sure David was afraid, Goliath was no child’s play. I wonder was his heart beating fast as he walked towards the giant. Yet he still ventured out, using the tools he knew best. King’s Saul heavy equipment was not enough to tempt and sway him. David could so easily have been cowered by the heavy stench of fear that rang over the camp. Sometimes doing what you know, no matter how simple is the best weapon against fear.
Imagine five sling stones and a catapult and a faith in God was what it took to fell a giant. Sometimes fear stops us from truly seeing what is before us. Sometimes there are cracks in the defence of the supposed giants we face. But we are too busy fretting that we miss the insight.
David did a few things that allowed him to conquer his fears.
Strategies for facing your fears
- Step out in Faith: David had faith in God who had saved him from bears and lions in the past. Sometimes we forget what God has helped us to accomplish in the past. So blinded by fear we see no way out. Yet strength lies in our remembering past battles and how we triumphed.
- Pray. David recognised that the Battle belonged to God.
- Look beyond the obvious.He looked beyond the supposed strength of the giant. David saw how weak Goliath really was, his height was a liability, against David he was a slow man and his weapons though heavy did not protect his whole body.
- Know your strengths.David knew what worked best for him and capitalised on the advantage. Many of know what works best for us, but we easily influenced by what seems to work for others. So we leave our unique battle tested strategy for the common and well known strategy. David did the opposite he refused the normal military attaire and went as himself armed with just a few stones and a sling.
- Ignore negativity.David did not listen to negativity. The whole camp was downcast, yet David did not allow that to dampen his spirits. Whenever you try to step out in faith and do something new, there will always be those people who will bring negativity.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fearsPsalm 34:4(NIV)
The truth is that there will always be something to fear. Yet what matters is how you respond.