Eyeball to Eyeball With Fear

When the boys were looking at colleges and universities, we took them to an open house at NC State. They explored a bit on their own for a while. Then, we regrouped. As we approached a table, Robbie dashed behind it and said to the man, “Throw it on my mom!”

There before my eyes sat the biggest, ugliest spider I have ever seen – a tarantula.

This tarantula was about as big as my hand. It had 8 hairy long legs, and 2 shorter appendages resembling legs that it could use to pull food to its 2 big hairy fangs. If that man had tossed it in my direction, it would have been one very dead spider!

I decided to ask a few questions. I asked about the bite. Was it deadly? Would it hurt? Basically, unless you are allergic it won’t kill you. The bite is a lot like a sting. I was satisfied.

The man held up the spider, and he let it walk from one hand to the next. As he illustrated he said, “Rub its back leg.”

So I did. It felt just like a hairy stick. When asked, Robbie passed. Drew decided to risk it.

Then the man said, “Hold out your hand.”

Now I had a choice to make.

I knew that if that spider started across my hand, it would take several seconds to completely move off. Would it tickle? Would I not like the way it felt against my skin?

As a mom, I wanted the boys to grow up to face their fears. As a person, I had an opportunity to be an example and face mine right then and there. The boys respect me as mom, but I also told them when they were younger that they needed a sister figure in their life. I told them I intended to be that person too! With this in mind, I knew that although Robbie would pass on letting a spider walk across his hand, Drew might actually do it.

I decided to do the only thing I could. I held out my hand and let the tarantula slowly walk across it.

I cut my eye at Robbie and then at Drew. They both were pale. I thought they were going to pass out!

I smiled and said, “Your turn!”

There were no takers! As we walked away I said in a teasing voice, “You let a girl out do you!”

God enabled me to face my fear. Whatever your fear is, it’s important that you face it when you are able. Depending on what it is you fear, it may hold you back in life. Fear of a tarantula may not keep me from doing the will of God, but it was a fear that I did not need to carry around. A fear of paperwork, on the other hand, could have kept me from starting my own business.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7


Today’s challenge is to examine your fears. Where do they have a hold on you? How have they shaped your life? Ask God to show you at what point they intersect with what He has for you to do. Choose to walk with the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind that God gave you.