Suddenly without warning a dog was running at me barking as he came. His owner was calling his name but to no avail. The dog seemed determined to get to me. I guess years ago I wouldn’t know what to do but at my age I’m more experienced. Instead of putting fear in me the dog put more of an annoyance. I’ve heard that a charging dog can be defused by not doing anything. The most natural thing to do would be to attack him before he attacked you. The other natural thing to do would be to run. Either way is not the advice of experts. Attacking the dog brings on a fight and you might get hurt by a mean and energized dog. Running let’s the dog know you fear him and he most likely will chase you down like a scared rabbit. The thing to do they say and what I did was to stop in my tracks and not look the dog in the eye. This leads to hopefully a non confrontational feeling for the dog and he most likely will sniff your leg and be more likely to listen to his masters pleading.
I can think of situations in my life where I was truly scared, fearful, and anxious. One situation that really frightened me along with millions of other people was the financial crises of 2008. I was very fearful of my financial future and spent a lot of time troubled and scared. It got so bad that it was on my mind all of the time. The fear of losing everything that I had was so powerful that it completely swallowed me in it. What could I do about it? Who could I talk to to help me cope with this powerful fear that I was feeling?
Franklin Roosevelt made a statement concerning the times at hand during the Great Depression. Millions of people were out of work and things looked as bleak as they ever had. Roosevelt knew though that even in bad times that we could compound our problem. He mad the statement that “The only thing to fear was fear itself.” What did he mean by that? He knew that when people are fearful the natural thing to do is nothing. It’s like the saying of burying your head in the sand. There are times that doing nothing is the right thing to do but it should not be an automatic response. It should actually be one of many options. Roosevelt stated that our main problem was getting people back to work. By being fearful people that could offer jobs would become paralyzed about the future and not want to expand their business. Likewise people would become dependent on the government and not dream for a brighter future. He offered help from the government but it was a temporary fix until our non fearing attitude could turn the ship around.
If you are living in fear it is time to turn your ship around. The first thing that you should realize is that God loves you and wants the best for you. I was listening to a radio show and somebody called in and was telling how she had been always fearful. When questioned why she stated that she feared what people thought about her. She said that this condition went on for years until she discovered in the Bible that fear is not from God. When she realized all of the trouble that God went through to make a path for us to get to heaven she discovered that he had her back. Instead of fearing the future and anything going on now her faith increased. She became at total peace with who she was and who controlled her future. Her call that day was a call for victory and a testimony for anyone listening who was in the grasp of fear.
We all go through fearful times. Some of us are fearful all of the time. This is not good for our health or our future. Don’t get me wrong fear is a natural thing. Some things we should be fearful of. However living in fear is never good. When I was living in fear I took some action. I made a decision of what I was going to do. It wasn’t a popular view with the so called experts but in my case it was the right thing in my heart. It’s amazing that when you make a stand whatever it is you are back in control of the situation. There is something very powerful in standing up to the fear that is within you and controlling it. That decision was made by my heart and what I felt was the right thing. I prayed with my pastor about the situation but he did not really understand because he was not in the midst of it. At the end of the day it was up to me and what I felt God would have me do.
So I ask you today if you are living in fear to stand up to it. Do not be paralyzed by fear. Consider your options and pray to God for guidance. If you listen to that still small voice within you he will direct your ways. Take action on what you feel. It is not good enough to think about solutions and then not implement them. Take control of your life knowing that the God of the Universe only wants what is good for you. “Peace I give to you”, Jesus said.
So the dog that was charging at me got to my ankle and like I figured he started sniffing my leg. He was not out to hurt me like I could have feared. However if I made the wrong move it could have propelled him into vicious actions. His Master was finally able to get his attention but as I started walking again I heard him calling out his dogs name in a loud and hurried tone. The dog was right back on my heals and I stopped immediately. Finally the Master got the dogs attention for good. There was no fear on my part, just the annoyance of something trying to take the joy of life away from me.