Fear. We have many of them. What is fear? Strong fear is terror. Milder fear is dread, possibly anxiety, distress could work too. Fright is fear. So are panic and alarm. Fear is a human response to living. Fear is an unfortunate reality we face each day.
We can list the things we humans fear most. Surprisingly failure comes before fear of death. Third in the top ten is rejection followed by ridicule and loneliness at 4 and 5. These fears can overwhelm our waking hours and bring sleepless nights. These fears drive us to seek professional help for relief.
Animals have fear also. They fear humans. This fear applies to large predators. It seems the mountain lion would have little to fear of humans. Yet, a graduate study of mountain lions in the southern Santa Cruz mountains of California seems to confirm the innate fear mountain lions have of humans. When natural sounds, a frog calling, were played the mountain lion continued its behavior. (eating a deer carcass) But when the same lion, at the same carcass, heard a human voice it fled.
In our current culture we are unsure of the reason for this fear of humans. We question whether this fear is genetically inborn, or perhaps the animals’ environments. We also consider the possibility that it is a combination of these. There are a number of other theories. As we ask other people for an explanation of this real and tangible animal fear of humans, we find most are unsure.
There is an unambiguous and understandable explanation for this found in the Bible. After the flood, God spoke to Noah and his sons and told them that “fear and dread of them would fall on all of the beasts of the earth.” This same fear and dread has created a strong demand for the telephoto lens. The goose, woodpecker, swans and the deer in the photos provide visible proof.
Return with me to the reality of human fears. While other humans can help allay our fears and even overcome them, the same God who put fear of humans in animals speaks to us about our fears. God’s words are plain. The eternal, living God of the universe speaks to all of us in plain words filled with comfort. God says, “I am with you.”
What are you afraid of today? Is it simple like spiders and snakes? Or much deeper. You have failed: in a job, with a friend, perhaps your marriage. You’ve been rejected even ridiculed-by friends, family or worse a spouse. You feel completely alone. Perhaps you’ve been given the numbing news by your doctor that you are dying. And right now, life seems wrecked for you. Your fears are overwhelming.
Listen to these words again: God says, “I am with you.” There is no other book like the Bible. It is God’s speech to us. Do you know how many times God says, “I am with you” in the Bible? 21. Twenty-one times God speaks to people in the Bible and assures them they are not alone with their fear. That’s 21 times from the beginning of time till the time Jesus walks with his disciples.
“I am with you.” God speaks these words to you now, today. The One who put fear of humans in animals REMOVES fear in humans. Yes, God is with you. Just tell Him your fears. He knows them already. We are never alone. The perfect love of God casts out fear.