Like life itself, the Bible is full of triumphs that could just as easily have ended in disaster. If the heroes in those stories had turned and run the other way, who could have blamed them? Moses defied the world power of his day to lead his people to the Promised Land. Gideon led a band of 300 against an army too large to number.1 Samson, armed only with the jawbone of a donkey, took on an army single-handedly.2 Teenaged David, with only a slingshot, denounced and trounced the giant Goliath, who had the entire army of Israel shaking in their sandals.3

Most of us can be thankful that we don’t face whole armies or heavily armed giants, but we all have fears of one type or another, what-ifs that sometimes descend in legions or loom over us like Goliaths. Like our shoe size, they start small and grow with us. What if I fall off my bike? What if my teacher doesn’t like me? What if I don’t make the team? What if I try to kiss her? What if I don’t get accepted at that school? What if I lose my job? What if this turns out to be cancer? What if I lose the love of my life?

We first learn to deal with childhood fears by running to our parents for security and reassurance. We crawl into bed with them during a thunderstorm. We ask to be carried in the dark. We take hold of a strong hand when a strange dog approaches. Little by little, our parents help us learn to differentiate between real and imaginary dangers, and how to confront the real ones. God wants to do the same with our adult fears. “You aren’t in this alone,” He assures us. “Take My hand. We’ll make it through this together.”

  1. See Judges 7.
  2. See Judges 15:9–15.
  3. See 1 Samuel 17:2–11, 32–51.