One way I define fear is “making a big deal out of something.”
Worry can take over my thoughts. Anxiety feels like a canyon with no bridge. Fear makes me say things like, “I’m freaked out,” or “I’m so overwhelmed.”
It’s not a fun feeling when applied to anticipating pain or suffering or loss.
But that is not the only scenario in which we can be overwhelmed or make a big deal out of something.
I think this is why God tells us that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
When we make a big deal about God, it teaches our brains perspective. God is worthy of our awe, our “freak-out,” our attention. The other things we fear don’t deserve that space of worship. When we shift magnifying abilities back to the Lord, we gain knowledge and perspective to rightly manage or let go of our other fears.
It’s like fighting fire with fire… but far more powerful:
He will bless those who fear the Lord—
small and great alike. Psalm 115:13
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 118:4
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence
and his children have a refuge. Proverbs 14:26
The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. Proverbs 19:23
The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells. Proverbs 14:27
Lord, redirect our amplifying thoughts away from the fear of the unknown, our anxiety about this pandemic, our frustrations with the political climate, the FOMO, the what-ifs, the dangers of obeying you; Jesus, help us to fix our eyes on you, and magnify everything about your right-ness, dissipating the apprehension of all the wrong-ness around us, within us.