To 怕怕 or Not To 怕怕

A few weeks ago, Arianna started saying, “怕怕” (“pa-pa”) first for any number of noises that scared her, and now for any excuse to get me to hold her. Some sounds– like our washer buzzing– can be a little alarming, but other sounds– like the quiet horn on my iPod announcing I had just received an email– are really no big deal.

Since she can’t communicate very well yet, I’ve had to figure out what was real fear and what was imagined, what she should be afraid of and what she shouldn’t. Most of the time, I would say, “Don’t be afraid, that’s just an airplane.” Other times, however, I found myself saying, “Don’t be afraid, Mommy’s right here.”

Watching Arianna go through this stage has made me think through my own fears—fear of losing my family, fear of uncertainty or insecurity, fear of what others might think of me… I’m realizing that if I really believe that God is real (and that He is “right here” with me), then some of my fears are unfounded.

Think about it—if I really believe that God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), then I can rest in the reality that He has a purpose for everything that happens in my life—good or bad—and that He will give me the grace to go through it (2 Corinthians 12:9).

If I really believe that God provides for those who seek Him (Matthew 6), then my security should be in Him and not in my own ability (or my husband’s) to provide.

If I believe that God is my Creator and my Redeemer and that I owe Him my very life (Romans 5:8), how can the opinion of man matter when the God of the universe cares enough to have a relationship with me?

So when you find yourself feeling afraid or worried, take a minute to assess whether that fear is grounded in a right understanding of who God is.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV) 

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About Karen Kallberg

Karen helped found the VOICE conference back in 1999 and has served on staff ever since, her primary role now being conference advisor and internship instructor. She and her husband Luke live in Saint Louis with their three children. When she's not brainstorming ways to improve the conference, she enjoys exploring the city, trying local restaurants, singing with her family, reading books by Tim Keller, and spending quality time with family and friends.

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