October 31, 2008

No Fear 
by Laura MacCorkle, Senior Entertainment Editor

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Psalms 27:5, NIV

"No Fear" was a popular slogan back in the '90s.

I remember seeing auto decals with this inscription everywhere I went. Pickup trucks, sports cars, SUVs ... you name it and you would probably see "No Fear" displayed across the back window in some kind of "edgy" font. 

I didn't know exactly (and still don't) what it meant, though. Did "no fear" connote a state of mind, as in living fearlessly? Or was it a marketing gimmick for some product line? Most likely the latter (especially in this day and age).

Now I haven't fully researched it out as of this writing, but if the thought is to live without fear, then I am all for that. And so, apparently, was David in Psalm 27:1-3 ...

The LORD is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? 
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,
When my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
Though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

Based on these verses, living a life of "no fear" all boils down to who or what is at the center of our lives. And this, in essence, will result in how we live. With fear or with "no fear." 

In my life, I've found that the surest - and quickest - way to find out what I'm made of is during a time of crisis or trial. That's when the outside pressures of this world squeeze out what's holding me together on the inside. And it's either a stronghold that sustains or something that just causes me to crumble. 

About nine years ago, I faced a time such as this when I was laid off from my job. It was the first time I had ever experienced this in my career, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Employees were let go in three waves, and I knew I was going to be in the final one. 

People were upset. They were afraid. And they were angry that their worlds had been disrupted. Their sources of income were gone, and they would now have to figure out what to do next for themselves and their families. They had placed their trust in a company that had decided to unexpectedly shut down and was offering no future for any of its employees. 

For some strange reason, though, I did not fully share these sentiments. I didn't know what the road ahead would hold for me, but somehow I knew that the Lord would take care of me and that he would show me what to do next. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this was out of the ordinary for me to immediately have such a peace. Surely, it passed all of my understanding.

Well, when the third round of lay-offs came, sure enough I received my pink slip. The company would officially close at the end of the calendar year, and so I was asked to help shut it down along with the other last handful of employees. 

As we began notifying our business contacts of the company's demise and getting rid of files and figuring out what to do with leftover office furniture and computer equipment, news came in that a different company wanted to buy part of our dying company.

And you know what? This "hero" company wanted to employ me and about five other people who had been laid off as well! So, in about a week's time - from being laid off to accepting new jobs - the Lord had taken me from unemployed to employed. How could I have known this was going to happen? 

The Lord was surely with me in this "day of trouble" and had kept me "safe in his dwelling." And he is the one who (miraculously) enabled me to live with "no fear."

Intersecting Faith & Life: Can you remember a recent "day of trouble" in your life? How did you respond? Were you fearful? Today, on the day when so many will celebrate fear (Halloween), why not ask the Lord to help you place your trust in him and live a life of "no fear"? He is your light and your salvation.  Of whom-or what-shall you be afraid?

Further Reading

Isaiah 41:10, NIV
1 John 4:18, NIV