There are certain things in life that can cause people great fear. I’m talking about fears that become phobias. The top five phobias in the world are:
1. Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders
2. Ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes
3. Acrophobia – the fear of heights
4. Agoraphobia – the fear of open or crowded spaces
5. Cynophobia – the fear of dogs
For me, I’ve been affected by number 2 – the fear of snakes. It’s hardly any wonder when I think about it. When I was growing up, our family home was located in an area where snakes were more prevalent. The two most common were the Australian mainland tiger snake and the eastern brown snake – two of the most deadly snakes in the world.
As I shut my eyes even now, I can vividly recall memories of snakes coming near to our home. One was on the front verandah of our home, and another was when I was swimming in the river, and a snake came swimming down the river, directly towards me. We’ve lost a number of family pets over the years from snake bites. Once, when I was seventeen years old, I was walking home from the school bus stop alone, and in front of me on the dirt road was the biggest tiger snake I had ever seen, heading the same direction as me. It was 1.5-2 metres long.
All of this led to a very deep fear of snakes. When it really came down to it, I realised my greatest fear was the fear that someone I loved in my family would step on a snake and be bitten.
Yesterday, I was on our front lawn with two of my children playing some sporting games. I turned and looked to my right, and only about two metres from me was a snake on the verandah of our house. We’d been on the lawn for maybe fifteen minutes and hadn’t seen it. I alerted everybody, and phoned my husband, Leigh, for assistance. We followed the snake until Leigh arrived, so we knew where it was. The snake was caught and we were safe. Afterwards I was completely amazed at what had happened. Firstly, I believe Jesus kept us all safe when we didn’t even realise there was danger. Secondly, I did not have any reaction of irrational fear. I handled the situation with calmness and maturity. Jesus has been very gently healing that phobia, and He demonstrated it to me yesterday. Praise the Lord!
Is there something that you have a phobia of? The list is endless. It can stem from trauma when you were young, like me. Jesus does not want you to live with a debilitating and crippling fear that something will or won’t happen. Jesus has the power and desire to heal your heart of all the fears you have. Give those fears to Him today and ask Jesus to heal you. Jesus wants you to live a wonderful life, uninhibited by fears.
Finally, I want to tell you one last story. Ten years or so ago I was at my parent’s home, and dad came in a bit shaky. I asked what was wrong. Without realising, he said, he had just stepped on a snake, while on the farm. This was my worst fear come true. I asked what happened. He said the snake was so frightened it didn’t even bite him. Wow! For so many years I believed that the snakes were coming to get me. God showed me through dad’s story that snakes aren’t coming to get me and that, even in the face of my greatest fear, Jesus was protecting my loved one. He indeed is the One we should put our trust in.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that You know our hearts and the fears that are there. Thank You also that You do not condemn us for those fears. You alone understand the very reason that they are there. We invite You today to heal those very deep fears and the trauma that is associated with them. Show us if there is any action we need to take to facilitate that healing. We put our trust in You to keep us safe. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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