Ironically, it is mentioned in the Bible 365 times, enough to remind us in a different way, every single day of the year, not to do it.
It is a command; don't do it. On that same list of other things that hurt us when we choose to participate. There is a reason for that.
Fear is a dream stealer. It freezes us in our tracks. Big or small, it can pepper us with attacks from above while we try to proceed down the path that God intended for us, or, at its worst, it can completely block us from ever reaching the right path at all.
Fear keeps us from taking chances. It keeps our mouths shut when we should be speaking up. It locks us inside our comfort zone, a place where change of any kind is the enemy. It prevents us from seeking new opportunities, and then backhands us with an extra dose of guilt for not taking those chances.
Fear is the opposite of Faith. Faith says "Use me, Lord, no matter where that may take me." Fear says to God, "I don't trust you to do anything with me or my life. I just don't think you are big enough."
Still, God knew we would struggle in this area. Hence, the 365 different scriptures to help guide us through it.
And what He also knows about fear is this: It is what leads us directly into His arms, every single time. So, He always stands ready.
I hate to think of all the things fear has stolen from me through the years. I'll never know what could have happened if I had shown up for cheerleading tryouts back in the 7th grade. When the same thing happened the following year with tryouts for Drum Major, I decided then that I would no longer allow fear to hold me back.
I don't want to be the person that reaches Heaven, only to see my walls filled with 'what could have beens' or all the people I could have touched, if only I had tried. I don't want to follow my own, fearful plan for my life; I want God's plan, and trust that He is strong enough to bring it all to fruition. It really has little to do with me and what I'm capable of. It's all Him. I just need to show up and whisper His name.
I know enough about God's plans to know that they take me to places that cause me to tremble on a daily basis. Another reason for those 365 scriptures, I suppose.
Corrie Ten Boom once said, "You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all that you have."
So, today, I thank God for taking me to places where He is all that I have. Because it is here, in the midst of my fear, that I've learned how to overcome it.
Because that's where God meets me, face to face, every single time.
Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
What about you? Is there a time in your life when you stepped out on faith, and fear, and God let you straight through it?