Some claim they’re mythical…others claim they’re mystical (or at least I assume so if I’d talk to anyone about snowgators). But, as my picture proves, they be real…this one was spotted from my deck over in my neighbor’s yard a couple of years ago.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. [2 Timothy 1:7 ESV]
What does that verse have to do with snowgators you ask? (Or at least you’d ask if I prompted you to do so…right?)Well let me tell you…fear and snowgators are a lot alike. You look out over a blanket of snow, all white and sparkly. Soft and inviting…if you don’t mind a little cold. But, you can’t go out and play in it, you can’t step into the powdery stuff…there might be a snowgator just below the surface. He might grab you, drag you under the snow…pull you into a snowbank…thrash you around…all sorts of unspeakable things could happen. So you stand and stare.
Fear is like that. You can imagine all the horrible things that might happen if you do ________ (fill in the blank for yourself). Despair, angst, people might laugh, failure, rejection, loneliness…and the list keeps going. So you stand and stare…or perhaps you step away and hide (speaking from experience).
The snowgator attack may have seemed a little silly…but sometimes the fears that freeze us up, that consume our life are just as silly. I know, I struggle with them from time to time…less so now, but still happen. I used to get consumed by the thought that someone…at work, or church, or just in life…would come up to me and declare the “emperor has no clothes”…that I had no clue as to what I was doing. (Which I know isn’t true I usually have A clue…sometimes even two or three.)
Fear shouldn’t incapacitate us…we have power and love and self-control (some translations say sound mind). We have the Lord as our helper.
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” [Hebrews 13:6 ESV]
Now, it’s going to sound like I’m contradicting myself…but fear in and of itself isn’t bad. In fact, it’s a natural, God-given, emotional response. It gets the adrenaline pumping and equips you to protect yourself in a dangerous situation, it warns you of something that isn’t quite right.
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. [1 Peter 5:7 ESV]
You can’t cast something you don’t have…so God is addressing our response when we encounter anxiety (a form of fear).
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. [1 John 4:18 ESV]
Perfect love casts out fear…again can’t cast what isn’t there…again God addresses what to do with the fear – let His love remove the fear from you, abide in Him, trust Him.
It’s not the fear that’s the issue, it’s the dwelling in it…the grabbing on to the fear and not letting go (it’s not that fear has its grip on you, you have a grip on fear.) Instead of grabbing the fear, grab the Vine…hold on to Him, our Helper when we fear, our Protector when we fear. When we stand in His love, His protection we can rise above our fear and watch it fall around us…we no longer need to watch for snowgators.