Illustrations on fear
Fear Statistics: Fear and worry statistics from National Institute of Mental Health, Sep. 4, 2016:
Percentage of things feared that will never take place: 60%
Percentage of things feared that are considered to be insignificant for you: 90%
Percentage of things feared in relation to health that will never happen: 88%. So why fear?
Fear, Cause of death: A few years ago, a 7-year-old boy was accidentally shot to death by his younger brother. His mother, a single parent working two jobs to support her children, often had to work late at night. Fearing for her safety returning late and back home alone she purchased a hand gun. Usually she kept it away from her children, safe in her purse. But on this one occasion she left it on the front seat of her car. The boys took hold of the gun and as they were playing with it, the gun accidentally went off & a little 7-year-old boy died. Now if we had to put the cause of death, I think the most accurate cause would be “fear.” He died, in part, because his mother had been caught in the grip of fear.
Fear of Dark: Five-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn’t want to go in alone. “It’s dark in there and I’m scared.” She asked again, and he persisted. Finally, she said, “It’s OK, go; Jesus will be in there with you.” Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: Jesus, if you’re in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?”
Protective Fear Illustration: When I was a child I loved going to my grandparents’ home in Kerala. I used to enjoy the days but dread the nights. It was in the early 80’s and there were absolutely no streetlights. They had meetings almost every night and coming back from the meetings were so fearful. I was afraid if I would stamp a snake, scorpion, or a leech would come on me. All fear is not bad. Protective fear is good for us, it can help us respond to a dangerous situation.
Fear Torments Illustration: A man has been visiting a therapist because he has had a fear of monsters living under his bed. The man has been seeing this doctor for months. Every time he would come in the doctor would ask “have you made any progress?”. Everytime the man would say “no”. The man decided to go and see another doctor. When he went back to his other doctor and he asked “have you made any progress?” he said “yes, I am feeling all better now” The doctor asked “what happened”. The man said “I went to another doctor and he cured me in one session”. The doctor asked “What did he tell you?” The man said “he just told me to cut the legs off of my bed.”
Fear Restrains Illustration: Janez Rus lived in Germany during the days of the Nazi ruler Adolf Hitler. During that time he was a young shoemaker, looking to make his name prominent. Because of the power of the German government, he participated in public supports of the Nazi regime in hopes of gaining recognition. But after the regime fell, he realized the error of his ways, and out of fear, fled to his sister’s farm in Slovenia to hide. It was in her barn that he hid for thirty-two years, without so much as a visit to town or interaction with guests. After he was discovered, reporters interviewed him, wondering how someone stayed hidden for so many years. He told of how he allowed his fear to keep him at home, away from anyone outside his family.
Fear ruled Janez Rus’ life for thirty-two years. He went nowhere, visited no one, and lived a sad life of regret. Yes, the threat of retribution for his crimes was real, but he allowed the fear of what could happen rule his life.
Expose your fears, illustration: A couple of years ago, one night we prayed and put our children to sleep. We finished our remaining work, prayed and was going to bed. The moment sleep set in, we heard some knock in the door. We got up, went to the door but there was no one. Thinking that it was our imagination, we went back to bed. In five minutes, we heard the knock again. I had never heard it before and got up. I felt a surge of fear. I laid there in bed for a while and listened. I laid there trying to figure out what it was. All kinds of thoughts went through my mind.
“I imagined burglars breaking in to get our valuables & I smiled & thought, `Boy, are they going to be disappointed!’ I imagined all kinds of things as I listened to this noise. Finally, I decided, “I am going to sit in the living room, next to the door to see who is knocking the door this late at night.” So I got up and came to the hall trying to find who or what was making that noise.
Well, it was a windy night and when the wind came from just the right direction, it would bang a window that was not bolted next to the main door. I had never heard it before, but that’s all that the noise was.” I had lost an hour of sleep trying to figure out what was making that noise, and the second it was exposed the fear was gone.
Whether our fears are the result of something unknown, or the result of sin, we need to face them & expose them for what they really are.