"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?" — PSALM 27:1
Last Halloween, my husband and I took our four-year-old daughter, Ruby, and 6-year-old son, Will, trick-or-treating in the neighborhood we had just moved into. The first house we went to, right down the street, was incredibly decorated so our kids were really excited to race up the driveway and see what they were going to pass out. The door to the house was slightly open, so we just waited on the porch for a moment. Then, out of nowhere, the character Pennywise from the movie It popped out screaming. We all screamed at the top of our lungs in complete fear and I tried to grab my children to somehow protect them from this moment we had found ourselves in. I’m not a huge Halloween fan and this was the epitome of why that is.
For the next weeks and even months, my kids would mention this experience and talk about that house as the “Pennywise house.” They had, of course, never seen this movie but were now extremely curious about it because it was so thrilling. They would mention how they weren’t scared of it and how they wanted to go over there again next Halloween so they could see it again (real tough guys).
Later this winter, I walked in on them having a conversation about movies and Ruby said she wanted to watch a super scary movie. Will was trying to convince her that she didn’t really want to see something like that, and she said “What! I will never be scared because I know that Jesus will always protect me!” To this, Will was appalled. He said, “Ruby, of course God is protecting you but that doesn’t mean you should watch scary things!”
The more I’ve thought about this wisdom he shared with her, the more I am reminded of our verse this month.
"The LORD is my light and salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?" — Psalm 27:1
Because of these promises, of course, we have nothing to fear, and that is what Ruby was trying to say. But we can choose wisdom in what inputs we receive. I have learned over the years that the fear meter that I am on is very much related to what I am taking in.
There have been periods of time in my life when I have been completely afraid to be by myself, peeking out of the shower curtain to make sure no one snuck into my bathroom while I was taking a shower. I remember doing this often in high school and feeling so trapped by fear. I had watched all the popular scary movies of the day with my high school friends and had thought nothing of it. In college, I learned to fill my mind and heart with good things and with God’s Word. Since I was experiencing so much fear, I would write verses about God’s protection on notecards and tape them to my dorm room wall where I could read them over and over again from my bunk bed.
If you struggle with fear—regardless of where it stems from—here are a few verses to fill your heart and mind with truth. Tape them to your wall, your mirror, your journal, until they are firmly in your head and heart.
1. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
— Joshua 1:9 (READ MORE: Dwell verse from Sept 2019)
2. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
— Psalm 23:4
3. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
— Psalm 46:1-3
4. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
— Psalm 56:3-4
5. “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
6. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
— 1 Peter 5:7 (Dwell Anxious No More Necklace)
7. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
— John 14:27