I lie down and sleep and all night long the
LORD protects me.
I am not afraid of the thousands of enemies who
Surround me on every side.
One fateful morning, while travelling from Lagos to Port Harcourt, guess who sat beside me? That creepy, miserable, attention-seeking, lying beast called fear. Innocent me, I did not realize this until it caught my attention.
This was what happened.
I boarded the flight and sat in my favourite spot, a window seat. While the plane glided in the clouds, I began to admire God’s creation; that particular day, the clouds looked like they were on a fashion parade, I don’t remember seeing a more beautiful scene. The clouds looked like a pack of cotton wool, at some point it looked like snow in winter, then like a flock of white sheep; it felt like I was watching the Milky Way, a spread of white curtains… I could go on and on. It was so beautiful that I was almost breathless! Honestly, everything God created is beautiful, including you reading this.
While engrossed in my galactic show, with the aircraft moving at different altitudes; the miserable attention seeker nudged me and whispered, “what if this plane crashes?”. Startled, I replied; “Huh?” (I wish I did not give an answer). It repeated its gimmick and added; “can you not see how this aircraft is moving in between the clouds? Is it normal? You will just be lost in the clouds when the crash happens”.
Then I looked up and saw one of the flight attendants smiling and engaging in a discussion with the passengers seated by the emergency exit. Fear hugged me tightly and whispered slowly, “that’s what I’m saying; the attendant is telling them what to do when the plane crashes, they will make use of the emergency exit… I wonder if they will survive, how much more you that is seated farther away from the emergency exit”. At this point, fear had engulfed me and I had also gripped fear; we were locked in a very tight embrace like lovers. My focus had shifted from the beautiful clouds to the expectations of a plane crash. I thought of my family, regretted my trip and started praying in my heart like never before.
Throughout the flight, fear and I held onto each other and I refused to let go. It was whispering into my ears saying “sweet nothings” while I prayed (in fear) silently the whole time. We were still locked in our tight embrace when the plane landed and taxied along the tarmac for a while, but I did not realize it would no longer “crash” or that it did not even crash at all.
The irony of this story is that, nothing happened… I mean, NOTHING HAPPENED… the plane did not crash, and the flight attendant was actually having a friendly conversation with the passengers when I looked up earlier. In fact, the flight arrived 10 minutes earlier than scheduled and the pilot jokingly apologized for arriving early. My goodness! I felt stupid and robbed of my beautiful “Cloud Fashion Parade” experience.
I told myself the next time the creepy liar comes around, I would not give it access to my thoughts. However, as a human, it takes a lot of effort and consciousness.
Sometime later, I saw six missed calls from my sister while I was in church and concluded that something terrible had happened at home to warrant her calling me six times repeatedly. When I eventually spoke to her, she said she just wanted to discuss a minor issue.
Fear is always hanging around, looking for who to deceive. Here is my advice on how to tackle fear:
- Speak-Up: When fear says something, you counter it with the opposite of that thing and tackle the situation with the word of God. Being vocal helps to silence any other voice.
- Train your thoughts: In the multitude of voices you hear daily, train your thoughts to hear only your Heavenly Fathers’ voice. The voice of God is soothing, calm, and removes any form of fear.
- Confess God’s Word: Keep declaring what God has said over your situation. Find bible verses and encouraging messages concerning the situation that makes you afraid.
- Be cautious & learn to separate fear from reality. Sometimes what we fear is not real; they are mostly figments of our imaginations. Whenever fear comes, remember the acronym for FEAR – False Accusation Appearing Real.
Written by Udochi Anokwu