I might take some heat from the guys for this, but I must confess: I like cats. Ella is my little eight-pound cat. She is soft and gentle, bringing much joy into our home. Unless something spooks her. Then she turns into a mini-meat grinder. Just ask my ankles.
Fear can make us mean. It can make liars of us or drive us into isolation. Even Yoda knew that “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear turns to anger; anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering.” Fearful people come from the ranks of those who have been hurt or abandoned in the past. If we’re not careful, victims can become perpetrators, hoping to avoid being hurt again.
We have all walked through our dark valleys, terrified of shadows and things that go “bump” in the night. Our great hope is that as we walk through the “valley of the shadow of death” we can grow to be fearless because our Great Shepherd carries both a rod and staff. These tools are symbolic of the direction and protection provided by the shepherd of our souls.
King David said,
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
There is only one force on earth that can permanently deliver us from fear; the awesome love of God. His perfect love actually “casts out fear.” The in-filling of love that accompanies His Presence will replace our fear with courageous, risk-taking love.
You can live free of fear when you know He is with you.