Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. ~German Proverb
We live in a very small town. The nearest stores are 45 minutes away, but if you want to really go shopping,(read MALL here), it is a two hour drive to Flagstaff, or a three hour drive to Phoenix. We go down every couple of months to do a Costco run and stock up on the bulk food. We also go to buy some of the things that you can't find in a small town. It is one of our favorite family times and not a single one of the girls would ever dream of staying home.
We were traveling to Flagstaff to go shopping and the girls were talking about where they want to go on vacation. (Don't worry, we have to save lots of money for this one, I think we will actually make it for Miracle's 50th Birthday!). They all tossed some different destinations back and forth and finally decided, as a group, that Hawaii is the place they want to go next. Then, Mikayla thought a little more about it and said maybe she didn't want to go by the ocean because they might have salami's and she didn't want to drown. John and I looked at each other and tried to figure out how in the world the ocean has salamis. I am imagining meat swimming around in the sea! Boy, was I wrong! We finally figured out she meant Sunami's and we were able to reassure her that Hawaii doesn't have "salami's" and she would be fine if we ever had the chance to go. Just think, her fear almost cost her the vacation dream of a lifetime.
How many times do our own fears cost us something so important to us in our own individual lives? Have you ever noticed that we often fear the things we don't know? Not only do we fear, but our fear is usually totally out of proportion to the problem. Who among us can say that he or she has not felt fear? I don't know of anyone who has been entirely spared. Some, of course, experience fear to a greater degree than do others. Some are able to overcome it quickly, but others are trapped and pulled down by it and even driven to defeat.
Fear can be totally debilitating. Some people are so afraid that they can't possibly come out of their home, or out of their own comfort zone. We have all suffered for fear, of one kind or another. The fear of ridicule or shame, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, the fear of ignorance, the fear of change, and even the fear that things might not change. Some fear the present, and some the future. Some never get over their fear that their past mistakes have made it impossible for them to ever join their Father in Heaven. Some carry the burden of sin and would give almost anything to relieve themselves from those burdens, but they fear to change their lives.
Mikayla feared the possibility of a natural disaster. I have to admit that can be a little scary for each of us. I will never forget my first flood or my first earthquake. There are a lot of things in the world to be afraid of. But if we let our fears determine our course, we will, in the end, go nowhere.
It is important for us to realize that fear does not come from our Heavenly Father. This gut wrenching, gnawing, destructive element comes from the adversary of truth and righteousness. He does not want us to believe in the truth. He magnifies and twists the things we fear. He encourages us to fear those things which we do not know or understand.
A little like Mikayla's Salamis!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
I think the sound mind is the ability to educate ourselves, so that we don't fear simply because we don't know. The more knowledge we gain as we seek to know our Heavenly Father, the greater our faith can grow. We need not fear as long as we have faith in our Heavenly Father's plan. We need not fear as long as we are striving to live righteously. We need not fear as long as we are building a firm foundation on the Rock or our Redeemer.
We have nothing to fear if we stay on the Lord’s side. The Lord long ago gave these wonderful, reassuring words to this people:
“Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap.
“Fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. …
“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:33–34, 36).
My hope for you today is that you will find the courage that you need to face your fears. That you will walk through them and find your dreams. (No matter what they are!)
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt