Recently, someone was telling me about the scariest movie they had every seen.
He said, “Paranormal Activity was so scary, I had to flip on all the lights in the house and turn on Spirit 105.3 KCMS.”
His reaction (turning on all the lights and Christian radio) cracked me up.
I haven’t seen the movie (and won’t), but I believe him… I’m sure it’s scary. I’m just not a fan of scary stuff.
In my opinion, a big percentage of fear is learned, nurtured and developed.
I don’t like to feed fear in my life.
Years ago, when my daughter was a baby, I was forced to play the role of the devil in an illustrated sermon at church. The makeup artist must have been a fan of horror movies, because I was painted up like some type of a bloody Skeletor dressed in a Count Dracula’s cape.
After the performance each night, my daughter would see me up close and personal before I could get out of the costume and makeup. She was never afraid. She had no context for what I was supposed to be. She hadn’t yet learned to be afraid of bloody Skeletor.
Her peaceful reaction to me (looking the way I did) left a lasting impression on me… I don’t have to be afraid!
There’s a fun story in the Bible about Jesus’ disciples attempting to cross a lake in the middle of the night. A big storm picked up and their boat was in trouble.
As they struggled to keep their cool in the storm, they saw something that really freaked them out:
“About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water, When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’” (Matthew 14.25, 26 NLT).
I think it’s funny that they went right to “It’s a ghost!” instead of “That must be Jesus coming to rescue us!”
I wonder if they had just been sitting around telling ghost stories?
It wasn’t some maritime ghost, coming to torture them – it was Jesus, coming to save them.
“Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’” (Matthew 14.27 NLT).
Where Jesus is, there is grace.
Feed on grace – not fear!
Focus on how good God is – not all the possible scenarios of terrible things that could happen to you.
Learn, nurture and develop the good – not the bad.
“You’ll do your best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
(Philippians 4.8 MSG)