Everyday and maybe for the rest of our lives we will be faced with fear. We fear that we might fail in our school tests. We fear the possible lost of our jobs because of the contingency of the world's economic situation. We fear we might get sick. We fear our business might go bankrupt. We fear the failure of our relationships. We fear death. We know that we can not always rely on our riches, power, authority, and other worldly things. There will come a time when we are left on our own. But actually we are not alone. There is always Somebody who is with us. In fact, His very name means to be "with us"!
And so we utter a prayer. We come before His presence and ask Him to protect us from the cause of our fear. Remove the sickness, help us to pass the test, maintain our good relationships, make our business good, help us not to die sooner, and other favors. Unfortunately, if and when our prayers are granted, our fears do not stop. They come one after the other, At times they come in clusters. Before we know it, we are back in the same situation. We are again in fear and we are again going back to God for protection.
The psalmist has a response to this. Instead of asking God to protect us from what we fear, let us the Lord to deliver us from all fears! "I sought the Lord, He heard me and delivered me from all my fears!" (Ps.34:2-9). It is an acceptance of the presence of fears. Therefore, what we should ask for is liberation from all fears so that whenever and if ever fear of anything comes, we can face them with the assurance of God's presence.
I read once that when we worry and our worries were not true, we worry in vain. And when we worry and it is true, we worry twice! Shakespeare was more clear and blunt. He said "The brave man dies but once while the coward dies a thousand deaths." What is worst than death is the fear of death. In one of the eulogies to the late President Cory Aquino, she was quoted to have said that the opposite of fear is not courage, but faith. Apparently, Tita Cory saw deeper and had conquered her fear through faith. Human courage was translated and associated with God's grace. Without God we are indeed nothing. "I sought the Lord, He heard me and delivered me from all my fears!"
Lord God, help us to face all our fears by giving us the grace to be free from them!