Thursday, July 27, 2017
Fear vs. Dismay
"The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror!" The word fear is used to describe the emotional response we experience whenever their is the perception of impending danger, regardless of the perception being real or imagined. This is important because we often have fears that are simply "imagined" - no real basis in reality, but in our way of viewing a circumstance, the fear is very real. Oftentimes, the way to overcome the fear is to "right" the perception. Once I learned the two-wheeler bike would stay upright without a kickstand as long as I was peddling it at a certain speed and with balance attained atop the seat, I no longer feared that bike. I had to change the way I perceived that leap from a tricycle to a rather large, if not over-sized Schwinn! Sometimes we see the "size" of what is at hand and forget God has a much different perspective we can "tap into" to help us see things much closer to reality than our vantage point allows.
Dismay, on the other hand, is more of a continuous condition of the soul. Fear is situational, and goes away as soon as the "threat" leaves us. Bring a needle close to someone who fears shots and they will panic. Remove the needle and they will soon be breathing relaxed once again - the threat being removed, they are able to regain their "balance". Dismay, on the other hand, is that absolute breakdown of one's courage entirely - you are a broken man or woman - defeated sometimes even before you begin. There was a sudden danger or threat that got you to this place, but you never felt a release from the fear and eventually the fear developed into a place where all courage is gone. You are thoroughly discouraged because your heart believes their is no hope. Some refer to this as being "disheartened". Dismay has a way of affecting our inner man - fear might just get us moving a little bit, but being dismayed almost paralyzes us because we see no hope in moving. Dismay has that element of discouragement that fear may not quite carry.
Both are dealt with similarly, though. For God's remedy to both is to settle into his presence and deal with what is at hand. He settles our fear, giving us perspective that allows us to know exactly what to do to remove ourselves from the threat or deal it a defeating blow. He also helps us move into places of new hope, settling our hearts and assuring us of his consistent care and concern for our well-being. Nothing which seeks to utterly discourage us is from God. To overcome these things, we must ask God for his grace to overcome our sense of hopelessness. In his presence, we find hope and help. Nothing can stand against the one who has learned to nuzzle right up into his arms and get his perspective on the things at hand - NOTHING. Just sayin!