Photo by Federico Di Dio Photography

Faith & Inspiration

By Charles Towne

I wonder… could it possibly be… when it comes to the subject of fear, could it possibly be based more on a question of what might be rather than what actually is?

Or, to put it another way, when we find ourselves immobilized by fear, might we find that the thing that is so terrifying is the idea rather than the reality?

Stop and think about it: we fear the possibility of the unlikely.

When closely examined, the entertainment factor of little kids – namely younger siblings – is on a very high level of what could happen; the possibility. The following example will illustrate.

Judith Elaine, my baby sister, became very adept at climbing trees at at the age of four or five. We would be near some trees, and I would take it upon myself to teach her the fear factor that accompanies the possibility of being eaten by a bear. All I had to do was pretend that I was frightened and shout, “Judy! Quick! There is a bear coming and he is hungry for a little girl! Hurry, climb that tree!”

And would you believe it, almost magically she would fly to the top of the indicated tree! Afterward the expression of fear frozen on her cute little face was especially entertaining.

What does this tale of woe have to do with the fear factor? you might ask, so I will tell you.

There hadn’t been any bears in Illinois for well over a hundred years, so it wasn’t so much
bears that she was afraid of, but the IDEA of bears. The chance of being eaten by non-existent bears is about as equal to the likelihood of being struck by a meteor, or having a herd of saber-toothed tiger fish trample you while your sleeping in your bed tonight; not very likely, but I suppose it could happen…?

Psalms 91:5-7 tells us, (paraphrased):
Do not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor the unknown virus that flies like an arrow in the darkness.
Nor non-existent bears,
Nor the unimaginable threat.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And an unimaginable number might perish beside you,
But what you fear will not do you any harm.

When we trust Him, there need not be fear!

Dear Papa God, we don’t want to live in fear, and as we search your word we know and
believe that you are a God of love and liberation and never fear. So lead us, your children, to trust you. You say, “Fear not, for I am with you and I will never leave you…” You also tell us that you will “cast out ALL fear!” I am convinced that you are a God of great love and joy, and you never lie; but how can we have what you promise if our lives are debilitated by that very thing you want to remove from our lives? We trust you Papa God, and we love you because you have proven your faithfulness in all things! Walk with us today, and teach us. In Jesus’ Holy and wonderful name, Amen


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I love that story! It is especially true for now. This past year, as real as it may have been, has fueled fear to the hilt!! I have a friend, a highly educated super active person, who has been reduced to a fragment of herself because of fear. I am so thankful for scriptures of God’s protection.
    I am grateful that not only does God declare it in His word, but He means it and expects us to believe it! He gives us wisdom to heed good advice, use caution, but at the same time…trust Him for protection. Thank you, Lord, for your daily protection all around me. I choose to live in perilous times with faith over fear, because of your promises.
    Thank you, Chuck, for a great reminder. God bless you.

  2. CSG, My dear friend, you have captured the true crux of the matter and I thank you for stating it so clearly. Bless you, Chaz

  3. Wonderful article. I have found the fear of the unknown is one of the biggest triggers for anxiousness, depression, and overall stress related tension.

  4. NH, It is almost that we make a god of fear! It rules our lives, controls our each and every move and thought to the exclusion of all that is reasonable, and good, and there is nothing else. How can we allow the questionable, even doubtful to steal our joy and make us question the possibility of peace, goodness and love? Dear Holy God, draw near to us and give us a glimpse of your great love. Thank you Papa, in Jesus loving name we ask it, Amen

  5. An interesting article Chaz, I find myself in minor disagreement with some of your conclusions though. If you don’t know how to swim, you may fear the water, a real fear, you may fear going out in a small boat or canoe but the answer is , you learn to swim and the fear that was once so real largely passes. your sisters fear fear was very real because she trusted her older brother and to her, the bears were real! Fear is a survival response so I believe it has its place but I do agree that irrational fear is counterproductive. I have a fear of heights, if I am compelled to go up high, I am the guy hugging the wall, I will NEVER be the guy standing by the edge looking down!
    I agree that Papa God watches over us and protects us, He gives us Guardian Angels! And so our faith gives us the certain knowledge that His protection covers us but I do not believe that our faith means we should not learn to swim!

  6. Richard, your point is well taken. Most fear is based on poor or limited knowledge and that is what I am addressing. Fear of drowning is certainly based on reality, and learning to swim certainly helps, but? we can only swim so long! Does our limited ability to swim debilitate us and keep us from enjoying water, or life? If it does than it borders on the irrational. Fear can be healthy, realizing our limitation can be healthy, but doing stupid, like free climbing without any safety equipment only produces stupid behavior, and perhaps death. Thanks, Chaz

  7. I am so thankful I learned early in life to trust in GOD! I also had a father that taught me to face my fears head on…although I DID sometimes put some distance between me and the bear…or chimpanzee or whatever might be the source of my fears! LOL!!! Thank GOODNESS for memories! And for Gods protection!

  8. Faith Fowler, your comment reminds me of the guy that told everybody that his pit bull was harmless until the day the dog bit him in the face! Yes, he will bite! Thanks Sissy, Dad

  9. Yes, Charles, we see that fear can be very debilitating and destabilizing in the human psyche. It can also be, when used with “wisdom” and applied properly a unifying element that maintains ones safety and the safety of others. We are admonished to “Fear God”, which means , learn of God, understand who God is in relation to His love for humanity and honor Him. Healthcare workers for example, wear masks during operations to prevent contamination during surgeries and for many other efforts to protect. It is proven that this helps maintain a clean environment for the patient and staff. The KEY to proper use of fear is WISDOM, how do I apply ( wisdom to fear ) at its right moments. When is it the right time to flee, the right time to consider others and the right time to trust. We need wisdom that comes from a superior power other than our own, in man there is failure, but in God there is “knowledge and victory” that overcomes our wrong use of fear. The scripture is true when understood in wisdom from God, ” God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Knowledge from God is powerful, it helps us make right choices….even choices related to fight, flight and when to Trust. Thanks for sharing these thoughts on this important topic.
    Jimmie and Mignon

    • Mignon and Jimmy Walle, The more we know Him, I mean, REALLY know Him, the more we respect Him, and the more we respect Him, the more we love Him, and He loves us with an undying love! WOW! WHAT A WONDERFUL GOD WE SERVE! Chaz

  10. Nice Article, my Little Bro !!! As more as we live, as less the fear we have. The more experience we have, the more solid are our steps. BUT, with GOD and His Peace we can live strong, longer and concious.
    Hugs & Blessings Dear PaL !!!

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