The summer before my senior year in high school I went on a camping and fishing trip with a friend. We planned every detail of our excursion and waited with excitement for the launch day.
My Uncle Don had a boat and offered to ferry us across a local lake to a secluded spot where, supposedly, the fish were eager to bite. We loaded our gear and rode the boat to the selected location where we unloaded and arranged with my uncle to pick us up late the next day.
We assembled our tent, placed our sleeping bags inside, and gathered wood for a fire. We left in the afternoon so we could be ready to fish in the early evening. After we finished eating, we prepared our fishing rods, attached the bait, and settled on the bank to fish.
It was a cool, misty evening in early June. The sun set gently over the water and whip-poor-wills, a native bird, began their strange but beautiful calls as the darkness deepened. It was a magical time. Even the fish were biting.
After a couple of hours on the bank, we decided to retire early so we could fish at dawn the next day. We stashed our gear, put out the campfire, and crawled into our sleeping bags inside the tent. I remember lying in the tent looking at the brilliant starfield outside and feeling entirely content. It was easy to fall asleep and soon we were completely unconscious.
Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke with a sense that something was wrong. I slowly exited sleep and sat up. At first, I could not identify the source of my scary feeling. Then, as I looked out of the tent, I realized what was wrong. I could not see. When I had fallen asleep the moon was full and the stars were ablaze. Now everything was utter darkness. I woke my friend and, with a shaking voice, told him that I had gone blind. My sight was gone. Fear enveloped me. I imagined a life without sight and fired a prayer to God for help.
As I was swept with despair, I turned and moved my arm outward. Suddenly my arm collided with something. In the darkness, I felt a cloth surface and when I pushed it, it moved. The tent flap had come loose and fallen over the opening. I pushed it up and there was the moon and the stars and the entire wonderful night sky. I turned to my friend and yelled, “I can see! I can see!”
Obviously, my moment of fear was based on a false perception. I panicked and allowed fear to control me when, in the real world, nothing was wrong. How many of your fears are baseless? How many of your worries are non-existent? How much energy do you waste imagining things that never happen?
And even if your fears are real, you have available, the most powerful Protector in the universe. When you trust God, He rouses Himself on your behalf. Don’t listen to fear, listen to God. Replace your fears with His promises.
The Bible says in Isaiah 41:10 (my favorite verse),
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 right hand.