Fear: a faith builder, not a faith buster
So Gideon…did as the LORD commanded, but he did it at night because he was afraid...” — Judges 6:27
A plethora of people show fear throughout scripture. We begin with Adam and Eve who hide from God after eating forbidden fruit. Moses, Hagar, Esther, David, and Jonah are OT headliners who, along with Gideon, show fear. Fear isn’t just found in the OT. The disciples show fear in the boat before Jesus calms the sea. This continues after Jesus’ ascension. Ananias shows fear after God directs him to meet the recently converted Paul (from Saul).
We tend to think fear is a faith blocker. Yet through Gideon we can understand fear is actually a faith builder.
With fear, most of us instantly call out to God. We do not deliberate our past faith practices. In an emergency, we instantly blurt, “Oh, God!” [The help part is implied.]
Not every emergency ends well. Sometimes lives change forever. For those grieving, one fear is how to live without a loved one. Although this is indeed a truly horrible time, this can also be a wholesome time because even if God seems silent in our loss, we can see in time that God does for us what he did with Gideon. He doesn’t leave. Gideon tests God many times beyond this nighttime tremble. God remains both faithful and present throughout.
Fear can teach us what it taught Gideon. God stays with us. Maybe God is silent because we have too much to say, and that’s okay. Someday, we’ll quiet down. Someday, we will see God not through a lens of hurt, but with a focus on faith toward healing.
PRAYER: Lord, keep on being with us—even or especially when we think You’re silent. Hold our hearts. Catch our tears. Breathe for us, especially when it doesn’t seem like we’re doing that the whole breathing thing very well. Amen.