Living In Fear Is Not The Way Of The Lord

fly went by 007

TheDiscipleMD

As a young boy I don’t recall many things that I read outside of the classroom. But one book I read as a little boy made an impression on my mind. A number of years ago my mind was jogged of its lessons when I came upon it in a local bookstore. The name of the “Beginners Book”, copyrighted in 1958, is “A Fly Went By” by Mike McClintock. It’s the story of a little boy who “sat by the lake…looked at the sky, and as he looked, a fly went by.” The entire book is about a fly that is in fear of a frog who he perceives is chasing him to do harm. The narration goes on that the fly ran away from the frog, which ran from a cat, which ran from a dog, which was in fear of a pig, which ran from a cow that was running from a fox. The fox was running from a hunter who was running from something he didn’t see but whose sound was awful. As it turns out the hunter was running from an innocent lame lamb whose leg was caught in a tin can. The whole story was much ado about the power of fear.

I have noticed that we often worry ourselves sick about things that never happen. We hear about awful tragedies or terrible events that happen to others and begin to worry. And awful things do happen. And sometimes they even happen to us. But more times than not, they don’t. The problem with cultivating a life of fear is that it robs us of happiness! We fear we might lose a job, or not get into our desired school. We fear we won’t be liked, that we don’t look just right. We fear for our health our country or if we will get a job promotion. If you are a parent the potential to worry is endless. When your children are little you fear for their physical safety. When they get older its more for their spiritual safety! It is very easy to develop what I call “the habit of fear.” It’s an unpleasant way to go through life.

We all know better because on numerous occasions the Savior told the apostles to “fear not” but have faith in him. John wrote that “perfect love castest out fear”. (1 John 4:18). In the tenth chapter of the Doctrines and Covenants it reads, “Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.” (vs. 55) Nevertheless, even believers in these words have a hard time shaking fear of the unknown.

What then are we to do? The answer is still the same as it has always been. A deep knowledge and faith in the plan of salvation as revealed in these last days should cast out fear because we understand that bad things can come into the lives of even the most righteous individual or family. But it is called Heavenly Father’s “Plan of Happiness” for a reason. We accepted it and rejoiced over it in the pre-existence because we knew it was the only way to develop and become like Him.

A number of years ago I spoke in church and said, “If I had magic dust I would sprinkle it over this entire congregation so that no one would have any problems!” I followed up that erroneous statement with, “Well, I guess that is why I am not in charge because that is not according to God’s plan of happiness!” It was a learning moment for me because after I sat down I thought about how much Heavenly Father loves each of us. His love is immensely more profound for each of us than my shallow love of the entire congregation of the ward! I thought, “If I, on my simple level wanted to see no one have problems, wouldn’t he feel the same way on a much deeper basis. Wouldn’t He “sprinkle the magic dust” on everyone if he thought it was the best?” It left me pondering!

I know that terrible things happen to people in this life. Someday it might be me or a loved one. But I shouldn’t live my life in fear of it. We need to trust in the author of the plan. He is someone who loves us and knows what is best for our development. “Fear Not!” is something we should have emblazoned on our souls. Because living a life in fear is not the way of the Lord!

 

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