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You Don't Have To Be Afraid

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

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We were on the top of this mountain, several thousand feet above the tree line, trying to find our way down. Being inexperienced climbers, we were having trouble finding the right path. We kept ending up on the path to a false peak. This is a peak that looks deceptively like the true summit, but is really a dead-end destination.

My partner was afraid that the small rock area we were climbing on, if disturbed too much, might start cascading down the mountain, taking us with it.

One of the earliest things I remember learning as a child was that God is always caring for all of us completely. No matter where we are, He is all-powerful, always here. He is the Father, whose love sustains us.

The Bible says, "You [God] open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing" (Ps. 145:16, New International Version). God guides us, and when we need it He rescues us.

I trusted in God during this brief-but-eventful experience on the top of the mountain. My climbing partner and I were both praying. We talked about recognizing the power of God in our lives. We listened in that very situation for thoughts of instruction and direction from Him.

In any situation when you feel afraid, unsafe, insecure, you can turn to God and find help. When you listen for God to guide you, you're praying. And the calming effect that prayer has will enable you to hear the answer God is giving. Wherever you are, the answer will come through this prayer.

It's the total love God has for us that brings calm in times of trouble. Feeling this love will bring a new sense of hope. Good intuition. Proof that it's OK to trust that God is good.

Usages of the word fear itself offer a clue as to why praying to God ends the concern that something bad will happen. The word has two opposing usages; one is "to be in apprehension of evil." The other is "to have reverential awe."

"The fear of the Lord" (a phrase commonly found in the Holy Bible) is often the worship of God. We can't be in "reverential awe," worshiping God as the only good power, and at the same time believe in some bad power besides God.

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