by David Sisler
Peter was in an infrequent flyer. You could tell he was not a seasoned traveler, just by quiet observation. He approached the ticket desk hesitantly and asked several questions about his upcoming flight.
The ticket agent smiled knowingly as Peter asked additional questions as fast as each preceding one could be answered.
"Is the plane on time?" he asked. "Do I have time to make my connections? I'd like to get a little bit of breakfast - are you sure I won't miss my plane? Now, you're sure it is gate 14? Will someone be there at the other end to help me find my way? What about my luggage?"
Because of the curious ways of airline routes and connecting flights, Peter had to change planes twice before reaching his final destination. But good fortune was with him. Dozens of questions later, he made every connection and his luggage arrived with him.
All of the day's anxieties reached the surface, however, as he closed his hotel door behind him. Gripped with an unreasoning fear, he called the front desk soon after checking in.
"Help!" he yelled. "I'm trapped inside my room!"
"What do you mean, trapped?" the desk clerk asked.
"Well," Peter explained, "I see three doors. The first opens to a closet, and the second to a bathroom. And the third door has a 'Do Not Disturb' sign hanging on it."
A psychologist said, "Human beings are born with just two basic fears. One is the fear of loud noises. The other is the fear of falling. All other fears must be learned."
When asked in a recent survey, "Do you believe that personal religion holds the answer to nearly every problem confronting you?" 60 percent responded, "Yes." When the same question was asked of a similar group 20 years earlier, over 80 percent answered, "Yes."
If psychology is right, we have learned some new fears.
God's people, the Jews, were terrified. Two years before they had been Egyptian slaves. Through a succession of ten miracles, each greater than the last, God delivered them, led them through a trackless wilderness, fed them where there was no food, gave them drink where there was no water, and brought them to the border of a land He had promised to them centuries before.
Twelve spies scouted the land and brought back word of the riches of the land. "It is flowing with milk and honey," they said. "The grapes are so big; it took two of us to carry one bunch back. What a land!"
What they did next is surprising! They did not swarm across the Jordan River and into Canaan conquering and possessing as they went. No, gripped with fear, they said, "The inhabitants of the land are giants. There is no way we can defeat them."
They organized a "Return to Egypt" campaign and threatened to kill anyone who disagreed with them. Their unreasonable fear caused them to spend the next forty years wandering around a land they should have been living in. The rebels never entered the land they almost possessed. Fear robbed them of their destiny.
What is fear doing to your life? You look at the past and understand, "Those really weren't the good old days." You look into the future and it scares you. You may have forgotten the God who said, "Fear not. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. I am with you always, even to the end of the world." Trust Him with your fears. Trust Him with your future.
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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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