by Karina Simpson
by Karina Simpson
Editor's Note: This is another article by one of Thornleigh church's own young people that was formerly published in the Youth magazine "The Edge", used by permission.
Fear is a horrible feeling. Your heart races and your stomach tightens. You try and remain calm; but your imagination finds a way to make you feel worse. Unless you are stupid there is at least something you are afraid of. I am afraid of three things. When I was a child my dad could fix anything. For example, when I was little I must have been afraid of thunder storms; anyway he took my sister and me into the bathroom, said some magic words, spat in the toilet bowl said some more magic words then flushed the toilet. Just like magic we were no longer afraid of thunder storms. (If anyone can tell me what the magic words were I would be very grateful). Now I am older and my dad can't magically make my fears go away.
I would not say I have grown up with fears. I am afraid of sharks and burglars. I was not afraid of these things when I was really little. In fact I wasn't afraid of sharks until I dreamt I was chased by one at the beach; I woke up terrified and ever since have been afraid of being out in the ocean alone. So every time my friends catch a wave towards the shore leaving me alone, I feel panic starting to creep in. Every shadow in the water is a shark coming to get me. Sometimes I manage to talk myself out of my stupidity by telling myself they are having lunch in New Zealand. Other times I have to put people between me and the open sea.
My fear of sharks only occurs when I go to the beach. My fear of burglars I find I face more often, in fact most nights when it comes time to go to bed. If I am the last person awake and have to turn the lights off I start to panic. Here my imagination really has fun. Every darkened room I have to pass contains at least one burglar and if I am not careful they will attack me. So I developed a pattern for turning off the lights. I turn off the kitchen light, walk through the still lit living room, turn on the hall light, go back turn off the living room light, turn on the stair light, turn off the hall light, go up the stairs turn on the bathroom light, turn off the stair light, turn on my bedroom light, turn off the bathroom light and hurry into my bedroom. All the way my heart is racing and it takes all my self-control not to run.
Now when you are a small child and you have a scary dream I imagine you would run into your parents' bedroom and climb into bed with them, knowing that they will protect you from the big bad monster under your bed. Then be absolutely terrified that in the spare room and quite possibly in the linen cupboard you have to pass there is a burglar hiding waiting to grab you. You are not going to get out of bed and go to your parents' room, you'll never make it !
One of my favourite texts in the bible is Luke 12: 32,33. It starts out telling you to not be afraid, something I definitely want to hear, and calls me one of his little flock. I reckon I am a little lamb which he can pick up and cuddle with ease. Then it goes on to say we can store treasure in heaven and there will be no burglars. This is a really good point for me. Don't be afraid, there are no burglars where I am and I want you to come live with me. I haven't found any verses telling me there are not going to be any sharks, but I think they will be nice in heaven so I think I will sit down with them and discuss their image problem. Never know, I might play tag too, but I bags being it.
The Bible also talks about fearing God. But this isn't the fear that makes you want to hide under the bed. It doesn't make your heart race and make you break out in a cold sweat. This sort of fear is a good fear. It is showing reverence to your Lord and Maker. He should be the king of our hearts. You wouldn't take your boyfriends/girlfriends' name and turn it into a swear word, why would you turn God's name into one? You need to get to know him as your best friend. Listen to him; he has some really amazing things to say; if you would listen to him. It isn't like boring things like "I made hamsters" (unless of course you like hamsters) it is interesting things, like your toast is burning and the rain is coming in at the lounge room window. He gave you so many senses so that you can feel what he has to say; listening does not always involve your ears. He loves to have fun with you and has a great sense of humour. It isn't always fun and games, sometimes it can be a heavy slog getting to know him, we need to do more than just feel our relationship, we need to know him. That is where the bible comes in; it is the messages from him that we need to read so that we can understand him better. When ever you need him he will be there; but he wants to spend time with you even when you don't think you need him.
You know God will never leave you alone and scared under your covers if you ask him. He loves us so much and he is chafing at the bit to pick us up and hug us. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the biggest warmest safest hug you ever felt. Was it a hug that was just a pair of arms wrapped about you or is it a hug that you probably received as a baby? Where a big set of arms wrapped around your whole body and held you safely against their chest? It is warm and comforting, you feel the gentle rocking and you know there is no place you would rather be then where you are right now. God's hugs are tons better than that. If you are afraid, sad or lonely he'll be there as soon as you ask him and it is an awe-inspiring feeling. He told us not to worry about the future or what is to come as he will be there for us. I am still afraid of sharks and burglars but I know that if I ask God he'll give me a big hug and I know he'll protect me.
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