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No More Fears
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I was chatting with my mom yesterday, and asked her what kinds of things I feared when I was little. She told me that I feared clowns, thunder and lightning, loud cars, the blender, and the vacuum cleaner. I don’t remember those early fears, but I do remember some things I was afraid of when I got a bit older: dogs that had rabies (although I never saw one); the dark (although I always survived it); black widow spiders (although one never bit me); boogeymen under my bed or in my closet (although every time I looked, they weren’t there); and mountain lions (although I only saw them on TV).

Now that I’m an adult looking back on those fears, I can see that being afraid of them was a useless waste of energy. None of them ever happened! The odds were against them happening.

I recently read an article about the real statistics behind some of the fates we fear most. And guess what? They aren’t very likely to happen. Here are eight common fears and the likelihood of dying from them (statistics are from the U.S. unless otherwise stated): 1

Fates We Fear Most

1. Shark attack - global average of 63 deaths per year
2. Airplane crash - one in a million on commercial airlines globally
3. Spider bite - no confirmed deaths from the feared brown recluse
4. Lightning strike - 0.0000023 percent chance out of the 25 million bolts that strike yearly
5. Snake bite - of the 8,000 people bitten annually, only a dozen die
6. House fire - 2,500 a year, down from 5,000 in the 1980s, due to fire-safety awareness
7. Electrocution - 400 per year, and most are work related
8. Food-borne illness - 0.00006 percent of the 75 million who become ill

Although it’s sad that some of these have caused fatalities, most who fear them are wasting their emotional and physical energy.

Whenever I feel irrational fear start to creep into my mind, I do my best to take the advice the Prophet Isaiah gave in Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Ever hear this phrase: you can’t think of two things at once? That’s just what this text is saying. If our minds stay, or remain, on God, they can’t be dominated by fearful thoughts. How do we keep our minds on God? By talking to Him silently or out loud, by reading the Bible or devotional books, by listening to Christian music or devotional podcasts, and by talking about His goodness to a another person.

So rather than worry about what might happen, why don’t we think about what has happened—all the beautiful stories in the Bible; what is happening—Jesus is in control of the world and of our lives; and what will happen—someday He’ll take us to a place where we won’t know fear, but only the serenity of total safety.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

1 http://health.msn.com/health-topics/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100254642&imageindex=3

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