A wiry, hairy beast with arms longer than any ten foot pole that could keep him away. Googly, bulging, bloodshot eyes and a slobbering tongue hanging from a mouth only half full of rotten yellow teeth.
His feet are narrow and flat, yet he jumps up and down, up and down with the enthusiasm of a smiling, but very ugly cheerleader. His breath escapes noisily from both his nose and mouth and wreaks of death and yesterday’s fish.
He speaks, but his words are unintelligible, just a garbled mess of profanities and threats.
Overgrown, claw-like fingers point at you, poke you, until you think you’ll go mad from the incessant irritation.
Meet my FEAR.
He’s shown up today in his old familiar ways, badgering me with doubt, mocking me with anxious thoughts. Just looking at him turns my stomach inside out and backwards.
And so I go to work in an effort to make him leave the building.
– I paint. And paint. And paint.
– I sing. And sing. And sing.
– I clean like a fiend.
– I read to ignore him.
All of these weapons have proven helpless against him.
He is crafty and knows that I will write to process and process to write to keep him at bay. He is my resistance, the one who would hold me back from moving ahead in my thinking, in my growth and development, in my endeavors.
With one glance, he can paralyze me.
I wander aimlessly and look blankly ahead, with no clue what to do next. And if he had his evil way, I would stay in that single spot on the floor, no better than I was yesterday. No wiser. No stronger.
I bring out a weapon that I sadly seem to forget as often as he does.
It should have been my first defense, my automatic response. But if it’s possible to be smaller than a mustard seed, my faith has found that minute measurement when FEAR comes around my corner.
Still, tiny as it is, it lifts its microscopic head. It closes its bitty little eyes. It folds those hands that are naked to any human eye. And that nearly invisible faith speaks up and prays from that frightened place in my soul.
“BE STILL AND KNOW, ” I am reminded.
And like a noxious vapor, FEAR begins to dissipate and disappear all together.
Because God is God and FEAR is not.
Fear can fight against my chores and projects and creative attempts to silence him. My reading and writing can’t fully tame his stomping or drown out his voice. Useless busy work doesn’t mask the smell of his breath in my face.
But when I am STILL AND KNOW, He has no recourse.
Anything less is powerless and anything more is unnecessary.
The only stone I need to pull from my bag is mustard seed of FAITH.
So small in comparison to the giant, but a sure shot right at his forehead, able to bring him down to the ground and kill him.
My air has cleared. The chest pain and stomach pit are gone. Fear has left the building as quickly as it came. And until the next time he tries to show his ugly face, I will practice what I know to be true.
I will be still and know.
And my itty bitty mustard seed takes on the makings of a tree….
Psalm 46:10 – He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;”
1 Samuel 17:45-47 – David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lordsaves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”