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  • Writer's pictureAriel M. Pace

The True Meaning Behind, "Don't Be Afraid."

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

"...we saw something, not just a little strange, but A LOT STRANGE!"

Late at night returning home from Orlando a few months ago, my brother and I were riding in Bella, our tried and true silver Elantra. We were talking, laughing, and having a good ole time. Hyped, I said, “Hit me some of that Cece Winans! I like that ‘Waging War’ song! It makes me feel like I can slay some giants, makes me feel as bold as a lion.” I attempted a lion’s roar and failed miserably. Sounded more like a loud blend of a yell and burp. We both started laughing hysterically. I was laughing and smiling ear to ear, and wide-eyed trying to keep my eyes from watering since I was the driver you know.

The song begins and we turn off the highway, and I tell Aren,” This is it right here!” and I go Cece mode, imitating her majestic voice to the best of my singing ability:

“Anoint my head anoint my feet

Send your angels raining down

Here on the battleground

For your glory

We’re taking territory

Fighting unseen enemies

Like never before

We’re Waging War…”

However, in a flash of a moment, all my boldness gained from Cece’s song turned to stark fear because the old lady decided to RUN at my window, hand outstretched! I took off with speed because I was so scared - didn’t know what in the living world to do! We soon came to another stop sign and I saw in the rearview mirror a couple of yards away, the old lady. Dejected, she just decided to walk across the street to only God knows where. I looked at my brother and exclaimed, “I almost hit a whole human! Should we go back and help her?!” My brother put the final decision on me,” What do you want to do?” Since it was late, I just decided we should just go home.

"...she was human."

As we rolled into the driveway, I still felt an overwhelming sense of fear and something even heavier. I felt guilt and shame. I had finished saying how I felt I could slay giants, but I failed to show kindness to someone who may have been in dire need of help. She wasn’t a giant, nor was she a monster, - she was human. Sometimes, we’re not afraid of the unseen and metaphorical monsters and beasts in our lives. Sometimes fear is caused by the people or things around us we coexist and share this world with.

" ‘fear not” it is in essence, saying, “Don’t run away!”

Reading a devotional on the Bible app called, “Holy Feelings: What is the Bible-based Reaction to Various Challenges,” I came across an interesting statement, “The Greek word for “fear in both the Ancient Hebrew and Greek, implies a fleeing or running away from something or someone. So, when the Bible instructs us to ‘fear not” it is in essence, saying, “Don’t run away!” The moment I read this my whole mind shook! No longer is the phrase “Do not fear” about stopping an uncontrollable emotion, it’s about what we can do when we experience this emotion.

Just so you know, I’m not the type to be convinced by someone telling me some mind-blowing information, no matter how profound it is. I'm the type to go see for myself. I was able to verify that not only do the words in Hebrew and Greek imply the desire to flee or run away, but in the Bible, where the Greek and Hebrew words for “afraid” are used in context, there are various accounts of people displaying fear by running, hiding, expressing the desire to give up or even more tragic, the desire to die all because of the fear in held in their hearts. Feel free to see for yourself using Bible Hub’s study tools. Through study, I realized for the first time, not just in my head but deep down in my heart, that fear can make you do things. Not so good things! It can paralyze you. It can make you run and/or, like me, it can make you (almost- in my case) hurt someone!

The good news is that we don’t have to live captive to fear.

We don’t have to run, we don’t have to hide, and we don’t have to be scared to literal death! WE CAN BE FREE! The best way to defeat fear is by standing firm and renewing our minds by putting on the lens of love. The Bible says in Luke 21:19, “Stand firm and you will win life.” 1 John 4:18 says, “There’s no fear in perfect love.” With God all things are possible! We can trust that when we’re at our limits he WILL renew our strength! Don’t you run, don’t you hide, and don’t press the gas pedal - plunge into the challenges and let them mold and shape you. Let the experience of facing your fears be an encouragement to those around you. When life barks, “rough-rough,” you stand firm, grit your teeth, and bark back!

Days after the incident with the old woman, I wondered where the lady went, and the possibility of seeing her again. Many times riding back from Orlando, I wondered and today I still wonder if there will be someone else who’ll stumble into the street asking for help. Will I be brave and bold enough to help them? Will I be brave enough to step out of my comfort zone, and out of my feelings to help the people right in front of me? I’m praying that I do, and I praying for you to have the courage to do the same.


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