By all circumstances, it was a normal, quiet night in northern Michigan as I lay asleep in my room over the garage in back of my parents’ motel. The year was 1982. The night air was tranquil. I had put in a long day as a park ranger at the State Park and had come home unusually tired and went right up to bed. While mom and dad were out, my brother, Art, was office clerk that evening, and our little sister, Kelli, lay fast asleep in the front room adjacent to the office. It was about midnight when it happened . . .

The electricity suddenly went out in the entire motel, and the phone switchboard went dead. No lights and no phone! My brother, Art, stood momentarily disoriented when suddenly he thought he saw a man in a ski mask shinning a flashlight in the office screen door. Instantly, he thought, “Armed robbery!” He quickly grabbed Kelli!

Suddenly I heard a pounding on my door. I leaped up in a daze and groped for the light switch—no lights! I then felt my way to the door, opening it to find the two of them standing in abject fear! Art quickly explained the situation as I grabbed my 22 rifle. So there the three of us sat in the dark waiting, on my bed—terrified!

Has fear ever reached its icy fingers into your core and made you feel afraid? It may have been a cancer scare, a threatened financial crisis, or a phone call at 4 a.m.

In Psalm 56, David writes, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” By doing this, he was consciously placing his trust in the living God, who never leaves. We find the comforting words “fear not” more than 100 times in the Bible. Did you realize that this is a command? I think God knew how frail we could be and realized that, when we are paralyzed with fear, it may be a little bit difficult to hear His voice. When fear comes, focusing on it only increases the problem. Instead, deliberately place your hope and trust in God, by telling Him you’re afraid and asking Him for strength. Read Scripture, recite Scripture, chew on Scripture. Let God speak comfort to you. You’ll be amazed at the comfort He can bring. Fear not! God may not remove the circumstances (or He may), but what He does promise is to remove the fear.

Oh yeah, mom and dad showed up shortly afterward and called the police, but no one was ever found. Thank you, Lord!

by Jay Childs, Future Senior Pastor