While walking down a mountain trail, I heard the sound that was out of tune with the birds singing and the leaves rustling in the breeze. It was a sound that brought fear to my heart and to my hiking buddies. It was a rattle snake, and it was mad. The tune of this snake’s rattler warned of the danger that its venom could create. Immediately, we wanted to distance ourselves from its dangerous song of fear.
Chaotic chords bring fear to rest in our heart, like the rattle of a venomous snake. Perhaps you are hearing the anxious tune of circumstances out of your control. Maybe you find yourself in the grip of fearful situations for which you have no answer. The chorus of chaos rings loudly in your heart, and it creates chaos in your relationships as well.
That’s what fear does to us and to our relationships. Because we live in a real world with real-life drama, the soul-shaking “what ifs” are natural. To experience fear is one thing. To be controlled by fear is quite another. Controlling fear can sweep us up into crazy behavior that invites a lack of health in our life and relationships. Fear can create chaos in our soul that can lead us to create chaos with others. But it doesn’t always have to be this way.
“You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.” (Psalm 91:5–6, HCSB)
How do we get to the place where fear doesn’t control us? How do we move beyond the “what ifs” that haunt us? What does God use to dismantle the fear that brings chaos to our soul and carnage in our relationships?
1. Stay close to Jesus.
Fear that controls us can make us say and do crazy things that derail healthy relationships. To dismantle the chaos of fear in our hearts, we need to settle securely in the grip of God.
“The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1–2, HCSB)
The point that the psalmist is making is simple. When we walk intimately with Jesus, in the secret place of fellowship with Him, we make our home under the protective shade of His power and love. The idea of refuge is one of a secure, protective area which God guarantees as a safe place because He is there.[i] The idea of a fortress is the picture of an eagle’s nest, built in the heights so that no enemy can assault it.[ii] When we trust God and commit our way to Him and dwell in the hiding place of His love, we will find security in a world filled with uncertainty.
2. Rest in God’s rescue.
God will deliver His people! This is His promise to followers of Jesus. And we need to hear the beautiful sound of that promise drown out chaotic chords of our fear. Whether it’s the fear of a hunter’s snare or punishing pestilence, we can rest in God’s faithful love to rescue us.
“He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net, from the destructive plague.” (Psalm 91:3, HCSB)
When we rest in God’s rescue, our fears are muted. When our fears are muted, our relationships are strengthened.
3. Hide behind the Father’s protection.
“He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” (Psalm 91:4, HCSB)
God will protect us in the shadow of His grace. The Father’s wing hovers over us to guard us. The wing of the Lord is His truth, with which He surrounds and encircles His people in protection. The shield of God’s truth is the revelation found in His Word. The Father’s promises show us the path toward peace and protection in the safe harbor of His tender care.
The chaotic chords of fear run their icy fingers down the spine of our soul, freezing our courage and shrinking our hope. If this ferocious song of fear becomes the melody of our soul, then we will experience out-of-tune relationships. Yet, we can dismantle fear when we sing the song of faith in Jesus. So, let’s start singing!